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August 31 , 2007

Award-Winning Poet Nikky Finney to Read at Smith

Editor's note: For a photo of Nikky Finney, contact Marti Hobbes at (413) 585-2190.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Smith College will present a reading by award-winning poet Nikky Finney at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18, in Stoddard Hall Auditorium.  The event will be free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible.

Born to a civil rights attorney and a teacher in the small fishing and farming community of Conway, South Carolina, Finney has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her poems are powerful and warm, like her Southern roots, and provide glimpses into the human adventures of birth, death, family, violence, sexuality and relationship.

Recipient of the Kentucky Foundation for Women Artists Fellowship Award, Finney is the author of “Heartwood,” a collection of stories, and three books of poems -- “On Wings Made of Gauze,” “Rice” (winner of a PEN America Open Book Award) and “The World is Round” (winner of the 2004 Benjamin Franklin Award for Poetry). Most recently, she edited “The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South,” due this year from the University of Georgia Press.

Educated at Talladega College and Atlanta University, Finney is professor of creative writing at the University of Kentucky and makes her home in Lexington. She’s also on the faculty at Cave Canem, the writer’s center for African-American poets, and is a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, “the coal black African voices of Appalachia,” as she says.

Finney will spend the 2007-2008 academic year at Smith as the Graze Hazard Conkling Writer-in-Residence.

Finney’s reading will be followed by a book sale and signing. For further information, contact Cindy Furtek in the Poetry Center office at (413) 585-4891 or Ellen Doré Watson, director, at (413) 585-3368.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Marti Hobbes
News Assistant
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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