Monday, November 21, 2011

Nikky Finney, Facebook & Youtube

Screenshot of one of the facebook pages dedicated to Nikky Finney
Looking back on the promotion of Nikky Finney and her volume Head Off & Split this year, it's apparent that facebook and youtube were key factors in raising the poet's visibility. Those social media sites helped publicize Finney and her work among hundreds of online users, bringing her work to the attention of new readers and making long-time supporters aware of her progress.  

In mid-December an author fan-page was established on facebook for Finney. An early entry on the page noted that "Nikky Finney's new book of poetry, Head Off & Split, will be released on February 1." On January 7, the facebook page published a link to a youtube video of Finney reading her poem "Penguin Mullet Bread," and on January 11, a message on the fanpage pointed out that "A new web presence for Nikky Finney, launched in the early hours of the morning..." and included a link to Finney's webpage.

In February, another Finney fan-page was created on facebook: The People for Nikky Finney for 49th U.S. Poet Laureate. The goal of the site, as noted in its title, is to make the case for Finney to become the next U.S.Poet Laureate. 

Taken together, the two facebook fan-pages, the youtube videos, and the poet's web-site functioned to make viewers more familiar with Finney and her work. The sites, especially the Poeet Laureate facebook page, gave her supporters a rallying point around which to celebrate and advocate for her receiving more recognition.

The various sites were hardly responsible for Finney's receipt of the National Book Award in Poetry win. But, the web presence did assist in raising her visibility and solidifying her base of supporters. The sites also demonstrated some of the technological and social media possibilities for promoting a poet and her work utilizing facebook and youtube. Perhaps what we witnessed online this year with Nikky Finney was a blueprint for future approaches to presenting poets.             

Related content: A Notebook on the work of Nikky Finney

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