Nikki Giovanni

(b. 1943)

Nikki Giovanni
Yolanda Cornelia "Nikki" Giovanni was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and raised in Ohio. In 1960, she entered Fisk University, where she worked with the school's Writer's Workshop and edited the literary magazine. After receiving her bachelor of arts degree, she organized the Black Arts Festival in Cincinnati and then entered graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania. In her first two collections, Black Feeling, Black Talk (1968) and Black Judgement (1969), Giovanni reflects on the African-American identity. Recently, she has published The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998 (William Morrow & Co., 2003), Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea: Poems and Not-Quite Poems (2002) Blues For All the Changes: New Poems (1999), Love Poems (1997) and Selected Poems of Nikki Giovanni (1996). Her honors include the NAACP Image Award for Literature in 1998, and the Langston Hughes award for Distinguished Contributions to Arts and Letters in 1996. Several magazines have named Giovanni Woman of the Year, including Essence, Mademoiselle, and Ladies Home Journal. She is currently Professor of English and Gloria D. Smith Professor of Black Studies at Virginia Tech.

[from Poets.Org]