In a few months, Nikky Finney will release her next volume of poetry, Love Child's Hotbed of Occasional Poetry: Poems Artifacts (April 2020). I'm excited to engage her work since it was way back in 2011, when I was last frequently blogging about her volume Head Off & Split.
Finney's book appeared in the year that I began actively blogging about poetry. So I view her as a central, even foundational, figure in my development in this medium.
One of our graduate students, Christiana McClain, and I are writing a series of pieces about Finney over the coming weeks. In April, or just before, we'll then turn our attention to the new volume.
It's great for me returning to blogging about Finney's work at this point, as so much has gone on with black poetry since 2011, as well as with my approaches to thinking and blogging about the work. So what I'm doing here is inevitably going to be about Finney and black poetry.
Where does Finney fit within generations of poets? To what extent does her work depart from others? There's so much to consider. That's why returning to Finney is also an important moment for thinking about the futures of poetry and writing about poetry.
• A notebook on Nikky Finney for Spring 2020