National Book Award winner Nikky Finney at UT’s “Writers in the Library,” April 4

NikkyFinney_300x464Nikky Finney will give a poetry reading at the University of Tennessee’s Writers in the Library on Monday, April 4, at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of the John C. Hodges Library. The reading is free and open to the public.

Finney is the author of five books, including Head Off and Split, the winner of the 2011 National Book Award in poetry, which addresses contemporary southern African-American life, the response to Hurricane Katrina, and the legacy of Civil Rights activism in our contemporary culture. One of the best-known and beloved poets in the United States today, Finney has addressed issues of race, social justice, family, disaster, and national politics in deceivingly accessible, complex, and utterly beautiful verse. Her previous books include Rice, The World is Round, On Wings Made of Gauze, and Heartwood. Finney is currently the John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair in Southern Letters and Literature at the University of South Carolina.

Nikky Finney has attracted worldwide attention for her award-winning poems and her moving readings and presentations. She has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award, featured as a guest on Maya Angelou’s Black History Month Special and Def Poetry Jam, interviewed by NPR’s Talk of the Nation, and covered by periodicals from The Chronicle of Higher Education to Time.

In addition to the reading, the author will participate in a Q&A discussion about her work at 3 p.m. in the Frieson Black Cultural Center on April 4. The discussion is open to all UT students, faculty, and staff.

Writers in the Library hosts readings by noted authors of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. The series is sponsored by the UT Libraries and the UT Creative Writing Program, in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund. Finney’s visit is additionally sponsored by Africana Studies, American Studies, the Geography Department, the Haines-Morris Fund, Ready for the World, the Office of Multicultural Student Life, and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion.

Christopher Hebert, the UT Libraries’ Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence, emcees Writers in the Library events. For more on the lineup of exceptional authors reading in the 2015–2016 academic year, visit For more on Nikky Finney, visit

For further information contact Katy Chiles, Finney visit coordinator (, Marilyn Kallet, poet, UT Creative Writing Program (, Christopher Hebert, Writer-in-Residence, UT Libraries (, or Margaret Lazarus Dean, director, UT Creative Writing Program (

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