Authors A. J. Verdelle and Nikky Finney, this year’s Joan Jakobson Visiting Writers, will speak at Russell House next Monday, April 15th, at 8 p.m.
A.J. Verdelle’s debut novel, The Good Negress, won numerous prizes—including awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Bunting Institute at Harvard University—and was a “finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the IMPAC/Dublin International Award. Verdelle also has received a Whiting Writers’ Award. Her essays on subjects ranging from slavery to art to motherhood have been published widely. She teaches in the MFA program at Lesley College.
Nikky Finney’s most recent book of poetry, Head Off & Split, received the 2011 National Book Award. Her other books of poetry include The World Is Round and Rice. She is also the author of Heartwood, a story collection, and the editor of The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South. She has received a PEN America Open Book Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award for Poetry, and numerous other prizes. She is Provost’s Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Kentucky.