Nikky Finney was born in South Carolina, within listening distance of the sea.
A child of activists, she came of age during the civil rights and Black Arts
Movements. At Talladega College, nurtured by Hale Woodruff’s Amistad
murals, Finney began to understand the powerful synergy between art and
history. Finney has authored four books of poetry: Head Off & Split (2011);
The World Is Round (2003); Rice (1995); and On Wings Made of Gauze (1985).
The John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair in Southern Letters and Literature at the
University of South Carolina, Finney also authored Heartwood (1997), edited
The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007), and co-founded the
Affrilachian Poets. Finney’s fourth book of poetry, Head Off & Split was
awarded the 2011 National Book Award for poetry.