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The World Is Round Paperback – January 1, 2002

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 110 pages
  • Publisher: InnerLight Publishing (January 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971489041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971489042
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,333,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


A wonderful collection of poetry and stories, written by an equally amazing person, Nikky Finney. -- Lisa, Book Review Cafe, January 2003

Nikky Finney is a phenomenon. She writes directly from her heart to yours. -- Steven Kent, The Steven Kent Institute for Conscious Acting, November 6, 2002

The World Is Round opens all my doors and windows and airs me out with a cold and truthful wind. -- Walter Mosley, Author, November 2002

About the Author

Nikky Finney was born in Conway, South Carolina in 1957 at the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean and is now the Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Kentucky. During the 1999-2000 academic year, she was the Goode Humanities Professor at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. Her first collection of poems, On Wings Made of Gauze (William Morrow, Inc.), was published in 1985. Her book RICE (Sister Vision Press, 1995), a collection of poems, stories, and photographs, was awarded the PEN American Open Book Award in 1999. In 1998, the University Press of Kentucky published Heartwood, a collection of short stories she wrote to assist literacy students across the country. Finney travels and reads her work the world over and is particularly inspired by working with community groups and young writers.

More About the Author

Nikky Finney was born at the rim of the Atlantic Ocean, in South Carolina, in 1957. The daughter of activists and educators, she began writing in the midst of the Civil Rights and Black Arts Movements. With these instrumental eras circling her, Finney's work provides first-person literary accounts to some of the most important events in American history.

In 1985, and at the age of 26, Finney's debut collection of poetry, On Wings Made of Gauze, was published by William Morrow (a division of HaperCollins). Finney's next full-length collection of poetry and portraits, RICE (Sister Vision Press, 1995), was awarded the PEN America-Open Book Award, which was followed by a collection of short stories entitled Heartwood (University Press of Kentucky, 1998). Her next full-length poetry collection, The World Is Round (Inner Light Books, 2003) was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Award sponsored by the Independent Booksellers Association. In 2007, Finney edited the anthology, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (University of Georgia Press/Cave Canem), which has become an essential compilation of contemporary African American writers. Her fourth full-length collection of poetry, Head Off & Split, is forthcoming from Northwestern University Press (2011).

Finney and her work have been featured on Russell Simmons DEF Poetry (HBO series), renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson's feature "The Meaning of Food" (a PBS production) and National Public Radio. Her work has been praised by Walter Mosley, Nikki Giovanni, Gloria Naylor and the late CBS/60 Minutes news anchor Ed Bradley. Finney has held distinguished posts at Berea College as the Goode Chair in the Humanities and Smith College as the Grace Hazard Conklin Writer-in-Residence.

Finney is currently Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Kentucky.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Her work is a song worthy of being sung for generations to come.
I personally recommend this book as an inspiration for anyone who has a true love for poetry.
Shayla Martin
They are rich with deep thoughts, insights, verbal beauty, humor.
Smokey Cormier

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lauren C. on October 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
In her new book of poetry and prose, The World is Round, Nikky Finney glimpses into the human ventures of birth, death, family, work, murder, sexuality, and worth. Each entry sheds a progressively brighter light on the book's overarching theme: the propensity of the universe to replace itself in continuous cycles. As we sadly read in "My Old Kentucky Home," a poem about a black teenager's death by gang violence and his disengaged mourners, some of these cycles have self-destructive qualities. Another entry, Hurricane Beulah, considers familial cycles in the form of short story. We watch the author sit patiently in a Salvation Army store as her aging Grandmother Beulah wanders down every aisle. We're in the same room as the poet when her grandmother passes, and we understand their relationship. In the poem "Mean Nina," recompense is presented as the cycle of justice, as Finney lies to a vegetating aunt, telling her that evil will not go unpunished. The World is Round is a celebration of the many facets of humanity. It is unique because it enlarges everyday occurrences and casts them onto the larger canvas of life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tuere Marshall on October 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
Nikky Finney's The World is Round deserves some literary distinction in the African-American poetry genre. Although her book has some confusion in some of its themes, it manages to set itself on an excellent course with such works ad Coda and Mean Nina. With such lines as "I am the only one awake to see the end/ For twenty years something or someone will come and lift me to the ceiling and back whenever it wishes/ I will come to know this as brown girl levitation", in Coda, Finney is easily able to cause her readers to levitate out of their settings and into her poem, due to her vivid description of the closeness of herself to her family and how they are all interconnected. We feel connected with her, as if she weren't speaking of their bodies being so close to hers on that small bed, but ours. Mean Nina, the poetic story of how a person's mean personality can forever evaporate when they become in a much more weakened and somewhat docile state, is also telling the story of the power and influence one person can have over others and how that inner power (as women) can be used for the greater good, or in Nina's case, the greater evil.
The work that gave the most satisfaction to me to read in this collection was the short story entitled, Hurricane Beulah. Inspired by the memory of her grandmother, Finney is able to use descriptive language and realism to bring her readers along with her on a trip to the second-hand store and also give us visual images of her grandmother moving like a shark through the aisles, searching for her prey, found in a dress that is slightly worn at the hems, probably discarded in a flighty huff by its previous owner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jumana on October 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
Nikky Finney's poetry truly steps beyond the boundaries of vivid imagery. In her words she is able to capture the truest emotions of human nature while making it seem that you are right beside her experiencing her words first hand. 'The World is Round' is a great look into life's most important questions. She expresses thoughts on family in "The New Medicine" and, "Hurricane Beulah" and the relationship between present day African Americans and their ancestors in "Shark Bite" and "The New Cotton". She goes on to write about love and sexuality in "Sex" and "The Turtle Suite Poems", and the struggle and duty of the poet in "The Girlfriend's Train" and "The Making of Paper". From beginning to end the reader is certain to stay engaged. Nikky Finney is truly a most talented and most inspiring writer.
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By mslynn on March 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you are not already a lover of poetry you will be after reading The World is Round, Nikky Finney's latest contribution to the literary world. Her collection of poetry and prose Finney reintroduces the reader to her world created with images that captivate the readers mind and heart and render them unable to stop turning pages until the entire book is gobbled up in one sitting, leaving the reader full but still wanting more. Never have I encountered a writer with such an ability to embrace all of the reader's five senses with such an unassuming and melodious manner. With her words, Finney takes the reader on a journey on which she intimately sketches out life's details and comes to the conclusion that everything in the world is connected and the world is in fact round.

In The World is Round Finney gives the reader those moments in life that should have been cherished but that many of us take for granted. Some of the most poignant poems are those in which she talks about her childhood and love for her family in "The New Medicine" she writes of how she goes home not to see her family but to touch them:

I am left a mere daughter

driving on sheer blacktop desire

to put my hands on them again.

That night I slump,

in a mother-daughter nest of repose,

repossessed once again

on her loud flowery couch.

My long fingers, delirious, spread,

lost in between her bare brown feet

that underneath are sleeping jellyfish,

on top squirming fiddler crabs.

Finney is a master of exploring both the sweetness and bitterness of the world in a candidly.
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