National Book Award winner and University of Kentucky professor Nikky Finney has announced she plans to leave the commonwealth for her native South Carolina. The author of “Head Off & Split,” “The World is Round,” “Rice,” and “On Wings Made of Gauze” says she will take a teaching position at the University of South Carolina while caring for her aging parents.
Since arriving in Lexington in 1990, Finney has staked out a claim as one of Kentucky’s most celebrated writers, co-founding the Affrilachian Poets writing group and inspiring a generation of students at UK. Finney’s work draws heavily on her memories of growing up in South Carolina as the daughter of civil rights activists.
Neil Chethik, executive director of the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, told the Lexington Herald-Leader Kentucky “has been lucky to have her as she reached her full power as a writer.” Finney says she intends to finish the school year at UK before leaving for South Carolina.