“Love Child’s Hotbed” is a New Kind of American Poesy
Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry is a twenty-first-century paean to the sterling love songs humming throughout four hundred years of black American life. This latest book by Nikky Finney, John H. Bennett, Jr. Endowed Professor of Creative Writing and Southern Letters, includes poems and hotbeds—a horticultural term introducing readers to Finney’s journals from which most of her poems grow—as well as treasured artifacts, images, and photographs. Hybridizing these forms, the poet blends word and image to celebrate the culture of African Americans and their history of survival through creativity.
Praise for Finney’s new work:
“This is a gorgeous, multi-valenced, illuminated exploration into Finney’s thickly, rapturously rooted life. A family history that skeins into South Carolina's lore. A queer Black woman poet’s purposeful wandering into becoming.” —Tyehimba Jess
“Finney’s work is grounded in memory, and she traffics in the trauma and joy implicit in our lives and days. Her poems elide the generational and the personal with ample music. They are, therefore, more than taut with vital details; they are alive with nuance and contrast, where doom is rightfully proximate to creation and grace.” —Sewanee Review
“Finney frequently explores how black men and women built America, metaphorically and literally, as in ‘The Thinking Men,’ a poem about the enslaved builders of Wofford College who were not permitted an education themselves. [The book is a] skillful, sweeping epic [that] ambitiously connects personal and public history.” —Publisher’s Weekly
Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry is published by Northwestern University Press