The Urban County Council on Thursday night recognized Nikky Finney, who won the National Book Award for poetry last year for Head Off & Split, her fourth book of poetry. Mayor Jim Gray proclaimed Thursday as "Nikky Finney Day."
"You do not win the National Book Award alone," said Finney, who teaches poetry at the University of Kentucky. "When I walked up to get that amazing award in New York City on Nov. 16, a hundred other people walked with me: Librarians, public school teachers, my parents, my grandparents. People who stopped me on the street when I was 9 and 15 and 18 years old to say 'How are you? What're you doing? What did you learn today?' That made some sort of investment in me early on. And so that speech that I gave was intent upon bringing in all of those folks with me into that room and into that moment. ... We all invest in each other, and that's how we get ahead."