Nikky Finney

Nikky Finney’s fourth collection of poetry, Head Off & Split, received the 2011 National Book Award. Born in South Carolina, a child of activists, she came of age during the civil rights and Black Arts movements. Presently, she is the John H. Bennett Jr. Chair in Creative Writing and Southern Letters at the University of South Carolina.
October 27, 2015

. . . . Whenever they look at me they see Civil War. Rape. The
great historical dismissive black boy walk away. When they shoot
me and leave me in the street for four hours facedown on the hot
summer pavement while my mother screams on the porch they
see sugar plantations melting in the distance.

September 01, 2015

The slow dance of the Civil War and the enslavement of Black people in America are my working metaphors for the poem known as The Battle of and for the Black Face Boy.