Renowned poet Nikki Giovanni to speak at Syracuse University Jan. 24
Renowned poet Nikki Giovanni to speak at Syracuse University Jan. 24January 24, 2007Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
The Student African American Society at Syracuse University will host popular American poet Nikki Giovanni at its annual spring lecture, Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel. Tickets for the SU community and general public are on sale at the Schine Box Office for $2.
Giovanni is a poet, writer, commentator, activist and educator. Over the past 30 years, her outspokenness — in her writing and lectures — has brought the eyes of the world upon her. One of the most widely read American poets, she prides herself on being “a black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English.” She has maintained a prominent place as a strong voice of the black community, with a focus on the individual and the power one has to make a difference in one’s own life and in the lives of others. The author of some 30 books for both adults and children, Giovanni is a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
Giovanni was born in Knoxville, Tenn., and graduated with honors from Fisk University, her grandfather’s alma mater, in 1968. Upon graduation, she attended the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. She published her first book of poetry, “Black Feeling Black Talk” (William Morrow), in 1968, and within the next year published a second book, thus launching her career as a writer. Early in her career, she was dubbed the “Princess of Black Poetry,” and over the course of more than three decades of publishing and lecturing she has come to be called both a “National Treasure” and, most recently, one of Oprah Winfrey’s 25 “Living Legends.”
Many of Giovanni’s books have received honors and awards. Her autobiography, “Gemini” (Viking, 1974), was a finalist for the National Book Award; “Love Poems” (William Morrow, 1997), “Blues: For All the Changes” (William Morrow, 1999) and “Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea” (William Morrow, 2002) were all honored with NAACP Image Awards. “Blues: For All the Changes” reached # 4 on the Los Angeles Times Bestseller list, a rare achievement for a book of poems. Most recently, her children’s picture book “Rosa” (Henry Holt and Co., 2005), about the civil rights legend Rosa Parks, became a Caldecott Honors Book. “Rosa” also reached # 3 on The New York Times Bestseller list.
Giovanni’s spoken word recordings have also achieved widespread recognition and honors. Her album “Truth Is On Its Way,” on which she reads her poetry against a background of gospel music, was a top 100 album and received the Best Spoken Word Album given by the National Association of Radio and Television Announcers. Her “Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection,” on which she reads and talks about her poetry, was a Grammy Award finalist.
Giovanni is the recipient of some 25 honorary degrees. Mademoiselle Magazine, The Ladies Home Journal and Ebony Magazine have named her Woman of the Year. She was tapped for the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame and named an Outstanding Woman of Tennessee. Giovanni has also received governor’s awards from both Tennessee and Virginia. She was the first recipient of the Rosa L. Parks Woman of Courage Award, and she has also been awarded the Langston Hughes Medal for poetry.
For more information, contact Tamekia Hosang at email@example.com.