Poet Nikky Finney to deliver USC Freeman lecture

Poet and National Book Award winner Nikky Finney will deliver the University of South Carolina’s annual Adrenée Glover Freeman Memorial Lecture Thursday, Sept. 26.

Finney, a native of Columbia, joined the university’s faculty this fall as the John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair of Southern Literature and Creative Writing in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her presentation will take place from 7 – 8 p.m. in the School of Law auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

 Her talk, titled “Diamonds in a Sawdust Pile,” explores the voice and vision of black Southern writers. It is one the signature events of USC’s yearlong commemoration for its 50th anniversary of desegregation.

Finney, who had taught at the University of Kentucky since 1991, won the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry for her collection “Head Off & Split.”

She was a writer, editor and photographer for the National Black Woman’s Project in Atlanta from 1984 to 1986 before turning her creative energy toward poetry. Since 1985 she has published four collections of poetry, including “On Wings Made of Gauze,” “Rice,” “The World is Round” and “Head Off & Split.” She also has published “Heartwood,” a collection of short stories, and edited “The Ringing Ear,” a poetry anthology. “The World is Round” won the 2004 Benjamin Franklin Award for Poetry and “Rice” won a PEN America Open Book Award in 1995.

USC’s Freeman lecture was established in 1993 in memory of Adrenée Glover Freeman, a Columbia lawyer who was active in civic affairs and served on the Community Advisory Board of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. The lecture is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and its Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the African American Studies Program.

 For more information call 777-4007 or visit the Women's and Gender Studies Program website.



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