George T. Wilkerson

May 2022

George T. Wilkerson is an award-winning poet, artist, and writer on North Carolina’s Death Row. Because prisoners are not allowed to host their own websites, I want to give him a page on mine.

I met George in early 2021 after reading Crimson Letters: Voices from Death Row. Tessie Castillo, editor of the book, hosted a book club where readers could speak with each of the coauthors. I learned that George was a fellow poet (a damn good one, too), so I sent a letter asking for feedback. Pretty soon, we had a regular correspondence, sharing feedback on poetry and learning about each other’s lives.

George is admirable for both his craft and his dedication to his craft. But he’s not just a talented poet; he’s an excellent public speaker, writer, editor, and artist — not to mention a downright thoughtful, friendly person. As a Christian, he’s committed to injecting LOVE into all aspects of his life and his relationships.

George has spoken for Duke Law, the University of Dayton, App State, Greensboro Bound, American University, the Obama Fellowship, and more. If you’re interested in George speaking at your event or for your class, please contact me.






  • Interface, Victor Hassine Memorial Scholarship Award, 2021
  • “Court Kings and Flight Lessons,” first place, poetry, PEN America, 2021
  • Talking to My Mom in Autumn,” Story of the Week, Prison Journalism Project, 2021 and 2020
  • Catch-22,” Press 53’s Prime 53 Poem Summer Challenge, 2020
  • The Knowledge of Good and Evil,” third place, Walk in Those Shoes writing contest, 2020
  • Interface, finalist for Press 53’s Poetry Book Contest, 2019
  • Interface, finalist for Cathy Smith Bowers Chapbook Contest, 2018
  • Carpe Diem” and “The Blacksmith,” 1st prize and 2nd prize winners, LifeLines Poetry Competition, 2015
  • At the Zoo,” 1st prize, LifeLines Poetry Competition, 2014



The Upper Room


  • “Vacant Lots & Aviaries,” first place, nonfiction essay, PEN America, 2021
  • “Cave Painting,” PEN/Vera Institute of Justice prize, 2021
  • Death Row’s First Ever Talent Show,” The Marshall Project, 2019 Ellie Award finalist
  • “The Mechanics of Miracles,” Samuel Johnson Essay Contest, LifeLines, Aug. 2019
  • Limp Gray Fur,” second place, PEN America, 2018

Visual Art

Exhibited Works


Sample ArtWork