Nikky Finney - Head Off & Split - 2011 National Book Award Poetry Winner

I've heard from some friends that the Vimeo version of Nikky Finney's speech doesn't work for them, so I am posting the YouTube version, too, because this speech is too good to miss.


There was such elegance and power in her delivery: the emotion almost spilling over, but contained; the narrative grounding in the law -- the law to silence, will full authority invested; her honoring those who helped her along the way, keeping the promise to the girl poet she was, to name those who helped her if her name was ever called out; to fill the speech with such thanks, to be full witness, and to end it with a silence fully owned. Amazing, that.