Nikky Finney’s National Book Award Speech

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“We begin with history. The slave codes of South Carolina, 1739,” begins Nikky Finney’s 2011 National Book Award acceptance speech for Head Off & Split (Northwestern University Press, 2011), where she traces the history of literacy in her own life and in the lives of African Americans. Finney is the recipient of the 2020 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, conferred annually to honor outstanding artistic achievement over a poet’s career.

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Hotbed #224

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“Mama was an elevator girl at Montgomery Ward’s in Trenton, New Jersey, summer of 1952...” In this video with poet Alondra Uribe, Nikky Finney reads “Hotbed #224” from her collection Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry (TriQuarterly Books, 2020), which is featured in Page One in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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