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Nikki Giovanni

Author of Rosa

75+ Works 6,986 Members 295 Reviews 18 Favorited

About the Author

Nikki Giovanni is one of the most prominent black poets of her generation. Born on June 7, 1943, in Knoxville, Tenn., she graduated from Fisk University and later studied at Columbia University. Giovanni creates strongly written poems to convey messages of love, frustration, alienation, and the show more black experience. She gained national fame with the publication of Black Feeling, Black Talk, Black Judgement in 1970. Full of the spirit of the black community during this era, her works captured the anger and frustration of many of its members. Giovanni has been the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ford Foundation. She has taught English at Rutgers University, Ohio State University, and Queens College and has given frequent poetry readings. She is also known for several sound recordings of her poetry, including Truth Is On Its Way. She has also been a Professor of English at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Nikki Giovanni

Rosa (2005) 2,065 copies
Love Poems (1997) 297 copies
Bicycles: Love Poems (2009) 194 copies
Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day (1978) 189 copies
My House (1972) 186 copies
Racism 101 (1994) 146 copies
The Women and the Men (1975) 133 copies
Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid (2013) 107 copies
Acolytes: Poems (2007) 107 copies
Knoxville, Tennessee (1605) 99 copies
The 100 Best African American Poems (2010) — Editor; Contributor — 95 copies
The Sun Is So Quiet (1996) 92 copies
The Genie in the Jar (1996) 85 copies
I Am Loved (2018) 81 copies
Make Me Rain (2020) 62 copies
Black Feeling Black Talk (1970) 59 copies
A Library (2022) 54 copies
Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda (2021) — Contributor — 50 copies
A Dialogue (1900) — Author — 36 copies
Best African American Fiction 2010 (2009) — Editor — 30 copies
Black Judgement (1968) 13 copies
Re:creation (1970) 10 copies
Jubilee 4 copies
Good Night 2 copies
Two Friends 2 copies
The Way I Feel (2012) 2 copies
Life: Through Black Eyes (1996) 2 copies
Artemis 2020 (2020) 1 copy
Poems (2002) 1 copy
In Philadelphia (1997) 1 copy
Artemis (2014) 1 copy
Nikki-Rosa 1 copy
Entropy 3 1 copy

Associated Works

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861) — Narrator, some editions — 4,197 copies
Poetry Speaks to Children, Read & Hear [book & CD] (2005) — Guest, some editions — 591 copies
The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart: A Poetry Anthology (1992) — Contributor — 385 copies
Cries of the Spirit: A Celebration of Women's Spirituality (2000) — Contributor — 366 copies
The Black Poets (1983) — Contributor — 348 copies
Literature: The Human Experience (2006) — Contributor — 335 copies
The Portable Sixties Reader (2002) — Contributor — 319 copies
The Black Woman: An Anthology (1970) — Contributor — 232 copies
African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song (2020) — Contributor — 162 copies
No More Masks! An Anthology of Poems by Women (1973) — Contributor — 122 copies
The Penguin Book of Women's Humour (1996) — Contributor — 115 copies
Black Women Writers at Work (1983) — Contributor — 115 copies
The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology (1997) — Contributor — 96 copies
The Spoken Word Revolution Redux (2007) — Contributor — 84 copies
The Virago Book of Wicked Verse (1992) — Contributor — 82 copies
Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color (2018) — Contributor — 78 copies
Honey, Hush! An Anthology of African American Women's Humor (1657) — Foreword; Contributor — 74 copies
Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation (1984) — Contributor — 73 copies
What You Wish For: A Book for Darfur (2011) — Contributor — 69 copies
My Song Is Beautiful (1994) — Contributor — 66 copies
911: The Book of Help (2002) — Contributor — 46 copies
Soulscript: Afro-American Poetry (1970) — Contributor — 39 copies
Dream Me Home Safely: Writers on Growing Up in America (2003) — Contributor — 38 copies
I Hear a Symphony: African Americans Celebrate Love (1994) — Contributor — 33 copies
The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007) — Contributor — 32 copies
Catch the Fire!!! (1998) — Contributor — 28 copies
Don't Hold Me Back: My Life and Art (2003) — Contributor — 22 copies
The New Great American Writers' Cookbook (2003) — Contributor — 20 copies
Wonders: Writings and Drawings for the Child in Us All (1980) — Contributor — 18 copies
Bittersweet (1998) — Contributor — 10 copies


Common Knowledge



This is the first collection of poetry I've read by activist Nikki Giovanni. The book is actually a mix of poetry and essays on a wide variety of subjects. Some of the poems I could relate to, and others I didn't. As for the interspersed essays, they somehow felt out of place.

After I finished the book I did take a peek at some of the reviews on Goodreads. At first glance it seems this collection was not a favorite of some Giovanni fans. Perhaps this wasn't the best choice for me to start off with but I will consider reading another book of poetry by this author, someday.… (more)
Ann_R | 4 other reviews | Aug 7, 2023 |
An phenomenal poetry books for all ages. Ashley Bryan, a Newberry Honoree, hand selected Nikki Giovanni's poems to illustrate. Each page has a poem along with colorful, mosaic illustrations. 11 poems are included that promote unconditional and affirming love. The last poem, "I am a Mirror" includes a mirror on the page for the reader to view themselves as loved. The poems go back in time generationally mentioning mothers and grandmothers, fathers, and grandfathers. Some of the included poems are bittersweet, talking about aging and loss, but most are inspiring readers to love and be loved for their true self. This is an inspiring read for anyone and would make a great read aloud for younger children.… (more)
TaylorRussell98 | 5 other reviews | Jul 9, 2023 |
This book is a love story from a young girl to the library. I would call it historical fiction based on the illustrations which show clothing and cars from the 1960s or so and also card catalogs. The author's note mentions her experiences with segregation during her childhood, also adding to the timeframe. The illustrations are drawn with the same love that the writing shares. One image shows the girl with her eyes closed and a book in her lap by a bookshelf bathed in a shower of sparkling light. That one image captures for me the feeling that a trip to the library often brought for me at that age.… (more)
BudgieSansWings | 2 other reviews | Jul 7, 2023 |
Alove letter to libraries.

A Black child, with hair in two puffballs tied with yellow ribbons, a blue dress with a Peter Pan collar, and black patent leather Mary Janes, helps Grandmother with the housework, then, at Grandmother’s suggestion, heads to the library. The child’s eagerness to go, with two books under an arm and one in their hand, suggests that this is a favorite destination. The books’ wordless covers emphasize their endless possibilities. The protagonist’s description of the library makes clear that they are always free to be themselves there—whether they feel happy or sad, whether they’re reading mysteries or recipes, and whether they feel “quick and smart” or “contained and cautious.” Robinson’s vibrant, carefully composed digital illustrations, with bright colors that invite readers in and textures and patterns in every image, effectively capture the protagonist’s passion for reading and appreciation for a space where they feel accepted regardless of disposition. In her author’s note, Giovanni states that she spent summers visiting her grandmother in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she went to the Carnegie Branch of the Lawson McGhee Library. She expresses gratitude for Mrs. Long, the librarian, who often traveled to the main library to get books that Giovanni could not find in their segregated branch. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A lushly illustrated homage to librarians who provide a welcome and a home away from home for all who enter. (Picture book. 4-7)

-Kirkus Review
… (more)
CDJLibrary | 2 other reviews | Jun 12, 2023 |



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