Nikki Giovanni
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  • "A seminal figure in the great social movements of our times, an early and influential practitioner of spoken-word poetry, and a crucial force in American letters, Giovanni is forthright, audacious, and profoundly moving in each of her 11 poetry collections as well as her essay collections, memoirs, and children's books."

  • "Woman of the Year"
    -Ladies Home Journal; Ebony Magazine; Mademoiselle Magazine

  • "This emphasis on the concrete—on the human things that make up the bigger picture—permeated Ms. Giovanni's keynote speech to 2,700, including 478 men and women receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees, their families and friends, and faculty and administrators. To spontaneous whoops and bursts of applause, Ms. Giovanni told an imagined anecdote of a young man who lived more than 500 years ago."
    -The New York Times

Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni is a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. Over the past thirty years, her outspokenness, in her writing and in lectures, has brought the eyes of the world upon her. One of the most widely-read American poets, she prides herself on being "a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English." Giovanni remains as determined and committed as ever to the fight for civil rights and equality. Always insisting on presenting the truth as she sees it, she has maintained a prominent place as a strong voice of the Black community. Her focus is on the individual, specifically, on the power one has to make a difference in oneself, and thus, in the lives of others.

Over the course of more than three decades of publishing and lecturing she has come to be called both a "National Treasure" and, most recently, one of Oprah Winfrey's twenty-five "Living Legends." Many of Giovanni's books have received honors and awards. Her autobiography, Gemini, was a finalist for the National Book Award; Love Poems, Blues: For All the Changes, Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea, Acolytes, and Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat were all honored with NAACP Image Awards. Blues: For All the Changes reached #4 on the Los Angeles Times best-seller list, a rare achievement for a book of poems. Most recently, her children's picture book, Rosa, about the civil rights legend Rosa Parks, became a Caldecott Honors Book, and Bryan Collier, the illustrator, was given the Coretta Scott King award for best illustration. Rosa also reached #3 on the New York Times best-seller list. Shortly after its release, Bicycles: Love Poems reached #1 on for Poetry.

Giovanni's spoken word recordings have also achieved widespread recognition and honors. Her album, Truth Is On Its Way, on which she reads her poetry against a background of gospel music, was a top 100 album and received the Best Spoken Word Album given by the National Association of Radio and Television Announcers. Her Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection, on which she reads and talks about her poetry, was one of five finalists for a Grammy Award.

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