Smile Politely

Award-winning Poet Nikky Finney to present CultureTalk on April 19th

Nikky Finney stands on the right side against a plain white background. She wears black wide -legged pants and a long sleeve black top. Her arms are bent with hands touching in the middle. She has dreadlocks extending to her waist.
Forrest Clonts

Nikky Finney, author of six books and recipient of the National Book Award for Poetry, will be on the University of Illinois campus for two upcoming events: a CultureTalk to take place on April 19th, and a poetry reading and book signing on April 20th. Ruth Nicole Brown, the Inaugural Chairperson of the Department of African American and African Studies at Michigan State University, and former U of I Professor and Champaign-Urbana resident, will be joining Finney at the CultureTalk. The talk will be moderated by U of I Professor Janice Harrington. The two events are sponsored by the Humanities Research Institute at U of I and the Bruce Nesbitt African American Cultural Center as part of the Un/Doing event series.

Finney’s work is influenced by the Civil Rights and Black Arts Movements, as well as by her parents’ social activism. Her books include On Wings Made of Gauze, The World is Round, and Head Off & Split. Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry, her most recent work, was released in 2020 and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry. Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry is described as “a twenty-first-century paean to the sterling love songs humming throughout four hundred years of black American life.”

The CultureTalk will be hosted at the Spurlock Museum in the Knight Auditorium, and will also be livestreamed. The poetry reading and book signing will take place at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. More information can be found here.

Nikky Finney + Ruth Nicole Brown
Spurlock Museum / Livestream
600 S Gregory
W Apr 19th, 7:30 p.m.

Nikky Finney Reading + Book Signing
Alice Campbell Alumni Center
601 S Lincoln Ave
Th Apr 20th, 7:30 p.m.

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