Claude Wilkinson is a critic, essayist, painter, and poet. His criticism has explored such diverse artists and authors as photographers Maude Schuyler Clay and James Van Der Zee, fiction writers Chinua Achebe, John Cheever, and Flannery O’Connor, playwright Charles Fuller, and poet Etheridge Knight, among others. His poetry collections include Reading the Earth, winner of the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, and Joy in the Morning, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His recent collections are Marvelous Light and World without End, which was nominated for the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award. Wilkinson’s poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and in 2000, he became the first poet to be selected as the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Southern Writer in Residence at the University Mississippi–a post previously only offered to fiction writers. Other honors include a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship in Poetry, and the W. M. Whittington, Jr. Purchase Award for painting. Over the years, his paintings have been exhibited in numerous invitational, juried, and solo shows across the country, including Southside Gallery in Oxford, Mississippi; Bennington Center for the Arts in Bennington, Vermont; Arts Center/Old Forge in Old Forge, New York; Cottonlandia Museum in Greenwood, Mississippi; Palm Beach State College’s Jan and Gary Dario Gallery in Lake Worth, Florida; Art Council’s Gallery 100 and Lorimier Gallery in Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Meridian Museum of Art in Meridian, Mississippi; Paterson Museum in Paterson, New Jersey; Porter Troupe Gallery in La Jolla, California; and African American Museum in Dallas, Texas, among others.
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