Is it us, or has April just flown by? As National Poetry Month winds down, we thought we’d highlight some recent acquisitions here at the SCL, starting today with a spotlight on Nikky Finney‘s National Book Award-winning anthology Head off & split : poems.
“The poems in Nikky Finney’s breathtaking new collection Head Off & Split sustain a sensitive and intense dialogue with emblematic figures and events in African-American life: from Civil Rights matriarch Rosa Parks, to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, from a brazen girl strung out on lightning, to a terrified woman abandoned on a rooftop during Hurricane Katrina. Her poet’s voice is defined by an intimacy, which holds a soft yet exacting-eye on the erotic, on uncanny political and family events, like her mother’s wedding waltz with S.C. Senator Strom Thurmond, and then again on the heart-breaking hilarity of an American President’s final state of the Union address. Artful and intense, Finney’s poems ask us to be mindful of what we fraction, fragment, cut off, dice, dishonor, or throw away, powerfully evoking both the lawless and the sublime.” (Source: http://nikkyfinney.net/books.html).
Widely praised, this collection artfully engages with a variety of timely topics. In the words of one reviewer:
Interested in seeing what all the buzz is about? Be sure to come by the Stone Center Library and check out this book! More information about Head off & split and Nikky Finney herself may also be found on her website, and her acceptance speech for the 2011 National Book Award in Poetry is available on Vimeo.