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Nikki Giovanni

Poet, Educator & Best-Selling Author
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Biography

When Nikki 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 America's 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. Her newly released collection, Bicycles: Love Poems, has been called one of her "most powerful offerings to date" by Essence magazine.

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 25 living legends.”

For Giovanni, writing is life. "I'm not trying to tell people what to do or what to think or none of that. I'm not a leader. I'm not a guru. I'm just a poet looking at the world," she says.

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Topics

Tennessean By Birth; Poet By Choice

Human by the Grace of God: A View of Diversity

Diversity as Art: Art is Diversity

Racism 101

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