Finney is the author of five books, including Head Off and Split, the winner of the 2011 National Book Award in poetry, which addresses contemporary southern black life, the response to Hurricane Katrina, and the legacy of civil rights activism in contemporary culture. Finney addresses issues of race, social justice, family, disaster, and national politics in accessible, complex, and beautiful verse. Her previous books include Rice, The World Is Round, On Wings Made of Gauze, and Heartwood. Finney is currently the John H. Bennett Jr. Chair in Southern Letters and Literature at the University of South Carolina.
Finney has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award, featured as a guest on Maya Angelou’s Black History Month Special and Def Poetry Jam, and interviewed on NPR’s Talk of the Nation.
In addition to the reading, the author will participate in a Q&A discussion with UT faculty, staff, and students about her work at 3:00 p.m. Monday, April 4, in the Frieson Black Cultural Center.
Katy Chiles, UT Department of English (865-974-6945, firstname.lastname@example.org)