Black through a distortion pedal is a poetry compilation about indulgence in and resistance to a racialized world from the perspective of a white youth who found his voice in hip-hop.
Wilkinson explores the genesis of multiple selves in an era of increasingly fluid and unstable identity, concerned not so much with issues of art's authenticity, as with how words and music heal, break down boundaries and re-imagine the world in terms of summer nights spent freestyle rapping, philosophizing, and reveling in strange experiences of love, loss, and becoming. Wilkinson offers stories of personal intimacy and everyday resistance in the context of reconnecting with people that history has alienated him from.
He draws inspiration from black and white artists, musicians, and critical social theorists as he confronts the race divide in his personal life and the corporate divide that acts to homogenize the world and silence voices of dissent. Wilkinson's poetry sees resistance in all walks of life, from eating WTO banned Roquefort cheese, to inter-racial dating, to writing hip-hop songs that resist the trappings of mainstream music.