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Nikki Giovanni        

Poet, Educator & Best-Selling Author

Nikki Giovanni is one of the world's most well-known African-American poets, her work covers topics ranging from race and social issues to children's literature. She was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, on June 7, 1943. Although she grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, she and her sister returned to Knoxville each summer to visit their grandparents. Nikki graduated with honors in history from her grandfather's alma mater, Fisk University. Since 1987, she has been on the faculty at Virginia Tech, where she is a University Distinguished Professor.

When Giovanni's poems first emerged from the Black Rights Movement in the 1960s, she immediately took her place among the most celebrated and controversial poets of the era. She remains today one of the commanding voices gracing Americas political and poetic landscape.

Throughout her career, Giovanni has written words that last. Her distinctive style presents the truth, committing passion to the fight for social justice. Her autobiography, "Gemini", was a finalist for the National Book Award; "Love Poems", "Blues: For All the Changes", and "Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea" were all honored with NAACP Image Awards. Her children's picture book, "Rosa", about civil rights legend Rosa Parks, became a Caldecott Honors Book and a New York Times bestseller. Her *"Racism 101" is part of college curricula, offering a bold and compelling portrait of Americans on all sides of the race issue.

Giovanni is the recipient of a NAACP Image Award, Langston Hughes Medal for poetry and the Rosa L. Parks Woman of Courage Award. She has been named woman of the year by Mademoiselle, The Ladies Home Journal, and Ebony. Oprah has called her one of the twenty-five living legends.

Speech Topics

An Evening of Poetry, Love, and Enlightenment

Breaking the Silence: The Poetry of Cancer Survival

Racism 101

Diversity as Art: Art is Diversity

An Evening With Nikki Giovanni

The Power of Storytelling

Using the Past to Shape the Future

Women's Lives, Women's Power

Celebrating Black Heroes and Heroines

Tennessean By Birth; Poet By Choice

Human by the Grace of God: A View of Diversity


News Nikki Giovanni visits Indy, applauds young poets Nikki ...

The poet and seven-time NAACP Image award winner was the keynote speaker at the Central Library's annual Fall Fest.

Famed poet Nikki Giovanni kicks off weeklong Literacy Expo in ...

Nikki Giovanni implored the chuckling educators seated in front of her to remember the potential in their own classrooms in a speech Thursday that she ...

Nikki Giovanni draws packed house |

Fighting for civil rights in the 1960s and70s, noted poet Nikki Giovanni was part of a generation that took on segregation.

Nikki Giovanni will headline King Day in Aurora - Aurora Beacon ...

Writer Nikki Giovanni will be the keynote speaker at the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Day program in Aurora. Giovanni, a poet, author and professor, will headline ...

Democracy Now: Nikki Giovanni on Poetry, Grief and Her New Book, "Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid"

Nikki Giovanni on Poetry, Grief and Her New Book, "Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid"

MSNBC: Melissa Harris-Perry 'Chasing Utopia' with Nikki Giovanni

Author and poet Nikki Giovanni joins Nerdland to talk about her works including “Chasing Utopia,” and talks about the experiences that have inspired her to write.

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