Winner, 2011 National Book Award for Poetry
Winner, 2012 GLCS Award for Poetry
Winner, 2012 SIBA Book Award for Poetry
Nominee, 2012 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry
The poems in Nikky Finney's breathtaking new collection Head Off & Split sustain a sensitive and intense dialogue with emblematic figures and events in African American life: from civil rights matriarch Rosa Parks to former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, from a brazen girl strung out on lightning to a terrified woman abandoned on a rooftop during Hurricane Katrina. Finney's poetic voice is defined by an intimacy that holds a soft yet exacting eye on the erotic, on uncanny political and family events, like her mother's wedding waltz with South Carolina senator Strom Thurmond, and then again on the heartbreaking hilarity of an American president's final State of the Union address.
Artful and intense, Finney's poems ask us to be mindful of what we fraction, fragment, cut off, dice, dishonor, or throw away, powerfully evoking both the lawless and the sublime.
About Nikky FinneySee more books from this Author
This fourth collection from Finney...should prove hard to forget. Against other black poets' interest in congregations, Finney is drawn to defiant individualists, to black women who let no one tell them what to do.Read Full Review of Head Off & Split: Poems | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly
The poems in "Head Off & Split" are unabashedly political, but also erotic, personal and narrative-driven. The book's middle section, titled "The Head Over Heels," sings sweetly and passionately about the powers (and primacy) of love...Read Full Review of Head Off & Split: Poems | See more reviews from Star Tribune
Head Off & Split, like Keats’ great line, takes the torsion in this contradiction, and strums the blade of poetic talent against its sinew. In doing so, Nikky Finney has made music out of madness, and created a masterpiece of astonishing beauty.Read Full Review of Head Off & Split: Poems
An aggregated and normalized score based on 24 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes