Nikky Finney Poems
- The Girlfriend's Train I read poetry in Philly for the first...
- The Condoleezza Suite [Excerpt... Condoleezza rises at four, ...
- Left The woman with cheerleading legs has been ...
- Heirloom Sundown, the day nearly eaten away, the Boxcar ...
- The Aureole (for E) I stop my hand midair. If I touch ...
- He Never Had It Made Just a plain brown paper sack boy from ...
- Dancing with Strom I want to tell you, ladies and ...
Nikky Finney (born Lynn Carol Finney on August 26, 1957 in Conway, South Carolina) is an American poet. She was the Guy Davenport Endowed Professor of English at the University of Kentucky for twenty years. In 2013, she accepted a position at the University of South Carolina as the John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair in Southern Letters and Literature. An alumna of Talladega College, and author of four books of poetry and a short story cycle, Finney is an advocate for social justice and cultural preservation. Her honors include the 2011 National Book Award for Head Off & Split.
One of three children, Finney is the only daughter of Ernest A. Finney, Jr., Civil Rights Attorney and retired ... more »
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The Girlfriend's Train
"You write like a Black woman who's never been hit before."
I read poetry in Philly
for the first time ever.
She started walking up,
all the way, from in back
of the room.
From against the wall
big coat, boots,
eyes soft as candles
in two storms blowing.
Something she could not see
from way back there but
could clearly hear in my voice,
something she needed to know
before pouring herself back out
into the icy city night.
She came close to get a good look,
to ask me something she found
in a strange way ...