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Words for the People Team

Meet the creative team behind the "Words for the People" podcast.

Crystal Wilkinson, Host and Creator

Crystal Wilkson smiles in a bright pink sweater with big yellow polka dots. Her hair is in small bantu knots and she's wearing fun plastic white glasses.

Crystal Wilkinson (she/her/hers) was named the Poet Laureate of Kentucky in 2021. She is the award-winning author of “The Birds of Opulence” (winner of the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence), “Water Street” and “Blackberries, Blackberries.” She recently received the NAACP Image Award for her book, “Perfect Black.”

Nominated for both the Orange Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, she has received recognition from The Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Kentucky Arts Council, The Mary Anderson Center for the Arts, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and is a recipient of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature. Her short stories, poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Wilkinson identifies as a southern, feminist fiction writer and grew up in the hills of Kentucky. She currently teaches at the University of Kentucky.

Find Crystal on...
Instagram: @crystalwilki
TikTok: @crystalwilki729
Twitter: @CrystalWilki
Facebook: Crystal Wilkinson
Website: crystalewilkinson.net

Sally Evans, Lead Producer

Sally Evans leans against a wall painted with a colorful mural. She is wearing a sleeveless green dress and has her chin resting on her hand.

Part Yankee and part Kentuckian, Sally Evans (she/her/hers) has worked as a voice over artist for over 12 years and has always had a passion for bringing words to life with energy and sound. After receiving her Bachelor's Degree in Communications and a Masters in Theological Studies, she went into the field of Prevention Education at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville as a campus trainer and then director before pursuing voice work full time. She joined Louisville Public Media as an underwriting voice in 2018 and serves as a fill-in host as needed.

When she's not in a studio, you'll likely find her writing stories, playing guitar, on an outdoor adventure with her daughters, or having a snack.

Alex Cooper, Associate Producer

Headshot of Alex Cooper smiling in front of a brick wall

Alex Cooper (she/her/hers) joined LPM in 2020 as part of the podcast incubator initiative, where she works on podcast development and distribution. Alex is a graduate of the University of Louisville with a Bachelor’s of Science in Theatre Arts. When she isn’t engrossed in working, she is hanging out with her fiancé, her lab mix and her cat in Old Louisville, or looking for a vintage home stereo system to help her play her record collection.

Laura Ellis, Executive Producer

Laura Ellis wears a gray felt hat and a floral shirt in an alley.

Laura Ellis (she/her/hers) is a Peabody-Award winning audio producer who has been working in public radio since 2004. In her role as Director of Podcasts and Special Projects at Louisville Public Media, she designed and leads the the LPM Podcast Incubator, with a mission to help close the opportunity gap in podcasting. She also develops and produces in-house projects at LPM, and writes a podcasting advice column called The Podcast Hatchery.  Outside the studio, Laura is the resident sound designer for Kentucky Shakespeare.

Laura was born and raised in Louisville. She lives in the South End, with aspiring TikTok influencers Wilson, Radar and Barkley.

Full Credits

Creator and Host: Crystal Wilkinson
Lead Producer: Sally Evans
Associate Producer: Alex Cooper
Executive Producer: Laura Ellis
Grants Manager: Katherine Six
Graphic Design: Mindy Fulner
Music: The Afrophysicists
Audio Engineering: Mark Royse (RadioLex), Dan Collins
LPM Vice President of Content: Gabrielle Jones