On Jan. 24 and 25, poet Nikky Finney will bring her long hair and her gentle spirit and her strong voice to three Triangle locations for an oral introduction of her latest compilation, The World is Round. 1999 winner of the PEN American Open Book Award for her well-seasoned collection, the 1995 Rice, Finney has been stewing and simmering verbs, nouns and other particles of speech in preparation for her latest work. “The World is Round focuses on the intimacy of life,” she says. “The intimacy of family. The intimacy of struggle. The intimacy of community. The intimacy of sensuality. The intimacy of hatred. The intimacy of hunger. In this collection of poems I continue to chart my belief that human beings can be better than we are.” Friday’s 7 p.m. reading at Durham’s Know Book Store (682-7223), will feature Finney in all her incarnations (” … I am a chorus of monks. I am an elephant. Sweetgrass. The confederate flag … my father’s last cigarette”), while Saturday will include a 4 p.m. performance at Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books (828-1588), with poets Shirlette Ammons, Howard Craft and R.C. Glenn, followed by an 8 p.m. reading at the Blue Coffee Company in Durham (683-5282).