Nikky Finney to deliver annual Adrenee Glover Freeman Memorial Lecture

The (Sumter) ItemSeptember 18, 2013 

Nikki Finney, middle, a South Carolina native and nationally renowned poet, is congratulated by friends and family, during University of South Carolina's announcement of her appointment to the John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair, Southern Letters and Creative Writing.

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com Buy Photo

— Poet and National Book Award winner Nikky Finney will deliver the University of South Carolina's annual Adrenée Glover Freeman Memorial Lecture on Sept. 26.

Finney, a native of Conway who grew up in Sumter and graduated from Sumter High School, joined the university's faculty this fall as the John H. Bennett Jr. Chair of Southern Literature and Creative Writing in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her presentation will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. in the School of Law auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

Her talk, titled "Diamonds in a Sawdust Pile," explores the voice and vision of black Southern writers. It is one of the signature events of USC's yearlong commemoration for its 50th anniversary of desegregation. Finney, who has taught at the University of Kentucky since 1991, won the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry for her collection "Head Off & Split."

She was a writer, editor and photographer for the National Black Woman's Project in Atlanta from 1984 to 1986 before turning her creative energy toward poetry. Since 1985, she has published four collections of poetry, including "On Wings Made of Gauze," "Rice," and "The World is Round." She also has published "Heartwood," a collection of short stories, and edited "The Ringing Ear," a poetry anthology. "The World is Round" won the 2004 Benjamin Franklin Award for Poetry, and "Rice" won a PEN America Open Book Award in 1995.

USC's Freeman lecture was established in 1993 in memory of Adrenée Glover Freeman, a Columbia lawyer who was active in civic affairs and served on the Community Advisory Board of the Women's and Gender Studies Program. The lecture is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and its Women's and Gender Studies Program and the African American Studies Program.

For more information, visit http://artsandsciences.sc.edu/wgst .

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