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In spoken word

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Do you agree with the Marianne Moore poem that begins, "I, too, dislike poetry"? University of Kentucky creative writing professor Nikky Finney (pictured above) can change your mind. At last year's Ring Shout black poetry conference at UNC-Chapel Hill, she talked about poetry like one would about shelter, food and oxygen--as a basic need, a requirement for life. A founding member of the Affrilachian Poets collective, she's also from down home--Conway, S.C.--and her Southern inflections are specially suited for ears below the Mason-Dixon. Though she works in academia, Nikky Finney is no ivory tower poet, working with new writers and tackling social issues like literacy with a penetrating gaze. Catch her performance--and maybe some reflections on the writing life--on Thursday, Jan. 20, at 8 p.m. as Duke Coffeehouse continues its spoken-word series. Call 681-7472 for information. --Cynthia Greenlee

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