This book is a haunting lullabye, a gale force wind, a nourishing meal. — From Molly's favorites
In Rice, her second volume of poetry, Nikky Finney explores the complexity of rice as central to the culture, economy, and mystique of the coastal South Carolina region where she was born and raised. The prized Carolina Gold rice paradoxically made South Carolina one of the most oppressive states for slaves and also created the remarkable Gullah culture on the coastal islands. The poems in Rice compose a profound and unflinching journey connecting family and the paradoxes of American history, from the tragic times when African slaves disembarked on the South Carolina coast to the triumphant day when Judge Ernest A. Finney Jr., Nikky’s father, was sworn in as South Carolina’s first African American chief justice. Images from the Finney family archive illustrate and punctuate this collection. Rice showcases Finney’s hungry intellect, her regional awareness and pride, and her sensitivity to how cultures are built and threatened.
About the Author
Nikiky finney holds the John H. Bennett Jr. Chair of Southern LetterS and Creative Writing at the University of South Carolina. She is editor of the anthology The Ringing Ear: Black poets Lean South and the author of a short story collectioN, Heartwood. Her fourth collection of poetry, Head Off & Split, won the National Book Award for Poetry (Northwestern University Press, 2011).