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Nationally-awarded poet Nikky Finney to speak at CCU

March 13, 2014

Nikky Finney, South Carolina native and National Book Award-winning poet, will visit Coastal Carolina University as part of the 2014 Celebration of Inquiry March 31 through April 2. The community is invited to attend at no charge.

Finney will participate in a panel discussion on Tuesday, April 1, at 12:30 p.m. in Wheelwright Auditorium and give a talk on Wednesday, April 2, at 4 p.m. in the James J. Johnson Auditorium. The discussion on April 1 will be ticketed, but no ticket is required for Finney’s talk on April 2.

The 2014 Celebration of Inquiry is a four-day conference that runs from March 31 through April 3. The conference features invited speakers, along with student and faculty presentations and entertainment, based on the theme “The Human Spirit: Overcoming Adversity to Accomplish Greatness.”

Born in Conway, Finney is the daughter of noted civil rights attorney and jurist Ernest A. Finney Jr., and she came of age during the Civil Rights and Black Arts Movements. At Talladega College, nurtured by Hale Woodruff’s Amistad murals, Finney began to understand the powerful synergy between art and history. Finney has written four books of poetry: “Head Off & Split” (2011), “The World Is Round” (2003), “Rice” (1995) and “On Wings Made of Gauze” (1985). “Head Off & Split” was awarded the National Book Award in poetry. Each of her works blends activism with history and art, and the personal with the political.

The Celebration of Inquiry (COI) was first presented at CCU in 1999 as a unique platform for members of the university community to share research, encourage creative thinking and showcase unique expression of ideas. Beginning at noon on April 1 and continuing through April 2, regular classes will be suspended, and a variety of presentations will be scheduled on campus, led by students, faculty and other members of the CCU community.

The Johnson Auditorium is Room 116 in the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration at 119 Chanticleer Drive E. on the Conway campus.

For more information about the Celebration of Inquiry, visit or call 843-349-2683. Tickets for April 1 may be picked up before or at the event in Wheelwright Auditorium, 109 Spadoni Park Circle.