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Heartwood (Paperback)

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When Trina Sims and Jenny Bryan first meet, they don't relate well to each other. Jenny is troubled, struggling to escape personal demons, and somewhat close-minded, the result of living in a racist town. Trina is a proud Black woman, ambitious, strong-willed, and unafraid to speak her mind. But after the pair spend a few days together, they soon realize that they're both yearning for understanding, a fresh start and, at the heart, are more alike than different.

At the deep center of every tree can be found the heartwood -- the very soul of the tree. And at the heart of this illuminating novel are several characters in rural Kentucky communities whose lives are loosely connected yet inexplicably intertwined. This captivating story by National Book Award-winning author Nikky Finney is filled with the sights and sounds and hopes and hurts of a land and its people. Some are burdened with racist attitudes, anger, and fear, while others strive to see the good in others.

This expanded edition, with a new foreword from Finney, is chock full of lessons about life and understanding, and exudes with soul, energy, and vitality. This "tiny little book about the human heart and what it can do" encourages its readers to live audaciously while acknowledging the goodness that is all around us -- if we only strive to recognize and embrace it.

About the Author

Nikky Finney has been a faculty member at Cave Canem summer workshop for African American poets; a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets; poet and professor for twenty-three years at the University of Kentucky; and visiting professor at Berea and Smith Colleges. She won the PEN American Open Book Award in 1996 and the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award for the Arts in South Carolina in 2016. She edited Black Poets Lean South, a Cave Canem anthology (2007) authored On Wings Made of Gauze (1985), Rice (1995), Heartwood (1997), The World Is Round (2003), and Head Off & Split, winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry. In her home state of South Carolina she involves herself in the day-to-day battles for truth and justice while also guiding both undergraduates and MFA students at the University of South Carolina where she is the John H. Bennett, Jr., Chair in Creative Writing and Southern Letters, with appointments in both the Department of English Language and Literature and the African American Studies Program. Finney's work, in book form and video, including her now legendary National Book Award acceptance speech, is on display in the inaugural exhibition of the African American Museum of History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Love Child's Hotbed of Occasional Poetry (2020) is her first poetry collection since winning the National Book Award in 2011.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780813151076
ISBN-10: 0813151074
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication Date: September 14th, 2021
Pages: 85
Language: English