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Nikky Finney
Nikky Finney was born in South Carolina, within listening distance of the sea. A child of activists, she came of age during the civil rights and Black Arts Movements. At Talladega College, nurtured by Hale Woodruff’s Amistad murals, Finney began to understand the powerful synergy between art and history. Finney has authored four books of poetry: Head Off & Split (2011); The World Is Round (2003); Rice (1995); and On Wings Made of Gauze (1985). Professor of English and creative writing at the University of Kentucky, Finney also authored Heartwood (1997), edited The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007), and co-founded the Affrilachian Poets. Finney’s fourth book of poetry, Head Off & Split was awarded the 2011 National Book Award for poetry.

Entries by Nikky Finney

Sam I Am

(5) Comments | Posted February 12, 2014 | 1:49 PM


(for Michael Sam)

24 years and 255 pounds,
6 feet 4 with heart-shaped triceps,

he is the Jackie Robinson of our time,
elegant, determined to sack, tackling

truth with grace. More afraid of not being
who he is, than being who others

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The Bare Arms of Angry Black Women

(27) Comments | Posted February 1, 2012 | 8:10 AM

We are called angry Black women because we are not afraid of bare arms. We pay close attention to our arms, holding our children tight inside of them. We are called angry Black women because we use our arms to wave to each other, because we boldly swing our arms...

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