Nikky Finney and Tom Sleigh Read and Talk Poetry on April 10

April 10, 2012

The Susan and Donald Newhouse Center for the Humanities is pleased to host two acclaimed poets in the final event of its Spring 2012 Distinguished Writers Series.

Nikky Finney, a creative writing professor at the University of Kentucky, has won the 2011 National Book Award in Poetry. She earned the prestigious award for her recent work, Head Off & Split. "As an artist and a daughter of the South, and as someone who honors my feelings as often as I can, I don't have to acquiesce to the polite expectations of the moment," the Provost's Distinguished Service Professor has said. "I have watched black people forgive and forget over and over again.... I too forgive, but I don't forget. My responsibility as a poet, as an artist, is to not look away." Finney, a resident of Lexington, Ky., has taught at UK for decades and is a member of the Affrilachian Poets group that includes Frank X Walker and Kelly Norman Ellis.

Tom Sleigh is the author of eight highly acclaimed books of poetry, including Army Cats (Graywolf Press, 2011), and Space Walk (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007), which won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Award. He has also published a translation of Euripides' Herakles (Oxford University Press, 2007) and a book of essays, Interview with a Ghost (Graywolf Press, 2006). He has received the Shelley Prize from the Poetry Society of America, a fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin, the John Updike Award and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an Individual Writer's Award from the Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Fund, a Guggenheim grant, and two National Endowment for the Arts grants, among many others. He teaches in the MFA Program at Hunter College and lives in Brooklyn.

The poets will speak and read from their work in the Newhouse Center for the Humanities in Green Hall at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10.

Earlier writers in the Spring 2012 series included Pico Iyer, Jennifer Egan, Leah Hager Cohen, and Jim Shepard. A new series will commence in September 2012.