Nikky Finney goes fishing for knowledge, truth and beauty
National Book Award-winning poet and teacher Nikky Finney, with an introduction by National Endowment for the Arts Editor Paulette Beete, took the stage at the2012 National Book Festival, and, weaving anecdotal portraits of her inspirational grandmother, Beulah Lenore Butler Davenport, between poems, read Fishing Among The Learned followed by The Breast Of The Garment Is Measured from her collection of poems titled The World Is Round, originally published in 2003 and recently re-issued in trade paperback (Tri-Quarterly Books/Northwestern University Press; July, 2013). Next, Finney offered a loving portrait of her eccentric, stargazing Uncle Freddie, who inspired her to follow her own path, and read Black Orion from her Rice collection, first published in 1995 and recently re-issued in trade paperback (Tri-Quarterly Books/Northwestern University Press; July, 2013). Finney wrapped her reading with a poem inspired by the 2005 movie March of the Penguins, which reminded her of her mother, called Penguin, Mullett, Bread from her 2011 National Book Award winner Head Off & Split, recently released in trade paperback (Tri-Quarterly Books/Northwestern University Press; July, 2013). Finney then took questions from the audience on her relationship with her father, Civil Rights attorney and retired South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Ernest J. Finney, Jr.; her favorite pencils and poets, namely Gwyn Brooks and Langston Hughes; lessons learned upon winning the 2011 National Book Award; wisdom on being ready for success and successful writing.
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