May 21, 2013

Nikky Finney & The Judith Lee Stronach Poetry Lectures

Nikky Finney program notes
program photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths
photo of program by Styrous©

On Friday, May 17, I made my way to the University of California campus to attend the tenth annual Judith Lee Stronach Poetry Lecture Series on the Teaching of Poetry.

photo by Styrous©

Once again, the event was held in the beautiful Morrison Memorial Library reading room located within the Doe Library.

photo by Styrous©

photo by Styrous©

photos by Styrous©

Raymond Lifchez, Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, is the organizer of the series which is dedicated to the memory of Judith Lee Stronach.

photo by Styrous©

Mr. Lifchez opened the proceeding with a reading from one of Ms. Stronach's poems, Copes's Hat, from her book of poems, Love Is Strong As Death, published by The Bancroft Library, ©2011.

photo by Styrous©

Lynn Hejinian, poet and professor,  Department of English, University of California, Berekely, then introduced the guest speaker, Nikky Finney.

Ms. Finney spoke about and read from her poem, Hog Killing. I have liked poetry all my life. I have found it intellectually stimulating. Hog Killing was definitely thought provoking but reached me on a visceral level I've never experience before. The theme was the "Sensitive Child". She spoke of the interpretations she had of that phrase which was used by her mother in reference to her throughout her life; how her interpretations changed as she grew older, wiser and more experienced. It was brilliantly written and the most moving moment in poetry I can remember.

After the lecture I was fortunate enough to snap this photograph of her in the hallway outside of the library.

photo by Styrous©

Thank you for the photograph and for the inspiration, Nikky.

Ms. Finney's book of her poems, Head Off & Split, published by Triquarterly, won the 2011 National Book Award.

Also see my first entry about the poetry series:
The Judith Lee Stronach Poetry Lectures Gary Snyder

Styrous© - Tuesday, May 21, 2013

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