If you know me on Facebook, you know that even though I am far away from Kentucky now, I am ecstatic over Nikky Finney's recent winning of the National Book Award for poetry (for Head Off and Split). She is a Kentucky resident, a professor at the University of Kentucky, and a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets. Below is a video of the award ceremony from LexGo. The award announcement for poetry starts at about 12:30. At about 17:00 Finney gives her acceptance poem/speech.
I first heard Nikky Finney when I was in high school. One of my writing mentors, Judy Milford, had lent me some books, including a copy of Finney's Rice, so that I could read some Kentucky poets in preparation for Kentucky's Governor's School for the Arts. When Nikky Finney showed up at our GSA class, I asked her to sign Judy's book as a thank you.
This story segues nicely into some other (slightly more nepotistic) accomplishments I've been meaning to acknowledge.
Judy Milford now has a book of poetry out: Surfacing (Finishing Line Press)—an exploration of grief and faith in the everyday. I've been waiting a long time for this book.
And my aunt, Rachel Clark, created the cover art and designed the book cover for the recently released Circle of Law (Xlibris) by Lia London—a Young Adult fantasy adventure. (I really should get a picture of the back cover on here too, so you can see her awesome cityscape.)
Congrats all around!
Also, my artist sister and I have started a joint Tumblr account: Magical Bipolar Sofa. We'll hopefully be putting some of our own work up there, but it's mainly a catch-all for reblogging things we find interesting, amusing, or wonderful, but that don't fit our individual blogs. In other words, it's awfully strange. I don't know whether to recommend that you click the link or that you stay very far away.
(Note: The second book image I stole from my aunt.)