Nikky Finney

As guest curator for this Tuesday Evenings with the Modern program, Annette Lawrence, an artist who participated in Tuesday Evenings in both fall of 1995 and spring of 2017, has invited Nikky Finney to present “Nikky Finney: An Ekphrastic Life.” 

Finney has had a long career as an educator, poet, and activist. She is a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, a place for poets of color in Appalachia; poet and professor for 23 years at the University of Kentucky; and visiting professor at Berea and Smith Colleges. She won the PEN America Open Book Award in 1996 and the South Carolina Governor’s Award for the Arts in 2016. Her book Head Off & Split won the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry. In her home state of South Carolina, she involves herself in the day-to-day battles for truth and justice while also guiding both undergraduates and MFA students at the University of South Carolina, where she is the John H. Bennett, Jr., Chair in Creative Writing and Southern Letters, with appointments in both the Department of English Language and Literature and the African American Studies Program. Finney's work is on display in the inaugural exhibition of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Her most recent book of poetry, Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry, was released in spring 2020.

More on Nikky Finney can be found at

A video recording of this lecture will be available on the Modern's Youtube.

Tuesday Evenings