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Feb
8
Nikki Giovanni
Booknotes, Sunday, February 8, 2004
Nikki Giovanni discusses The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998 (P.S.).

—from the publisher's website For the first time ever, the complete poetry collection spanning three decades from Nikki Giovanni, renowned poet and one of America's national treasures. When her poems first emerged during the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s, Nikki Giovanni immediately took her place among the most celebrated, controversial, and influential poets of the era. Now, more than thirty years later, Giovanni still stands as one of the most commanding, luminous voices to grace America's political and poetic landscape. The first of its kind, this omnibus collection covers Nikki Giovanni's complete work of poetry from three decades, 1968–1998. The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni contains Giovanni's first seven volumes of poetry: Black Feeling Black Talk, Black Judgement, Re: Creation, My House, The Women and the Men, Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day, and Those Who Ride the Night Winds. Arranged chronologically with a biographical timeline and introduction, a new afterword from the author, title and first-line indexes, and extensive notes to the poems, this collection is the testimony of a life's work -- from one of America's most beloved daughters and powerful poets. Known for their iconic revolutionary phrases, Black Feeling Black Talk (1968), Black Judgement (1968), and Re: Creation (1970) are heralded as being among the most important volumes of contemporary poetry. My House (1972) marks a new dimension in tone and philosophy -- it signifies a new self-confidence and maturity as Giovanni artfully connects the private and the public, the personal and the political. In The Women and the Men (1975), Giovanni displays her compassion for the people, things, and places she has encountered -- she reveres the ordinary and is in search of the extraordinary. Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day (1978) is one of the most poignant and introspective. These poems chronicle the drastic change that took place during the 1970s -- in both the consciousness of the nation and in the soul of the poet -- when the dreams of the Civil Rights era seemed to have evaporated. Those Who Ride the Night Winds (1983) is devoted to "the day trippers and midnight cowboys," the ones who have devoted their lives to pushing the limits of the human condition and shattering the constraints of the status quo. Each volume reflects the changes Giovanni has endured as a Black woman, lover, mother, teacher, and poet. A timeless classic, The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni is the evocation of a nation's past and present -- intensely personal and fiercely political -- from one of our most compassionate, vibrant observers. (timspalding)… (more)

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