During her storied, decades long career, poet, activist, professor, and mother Nikki Giovanni has published twenty-eight books, including the including the seminal Black Feeling Black Talk, Black Judgment, and most recently Make Me Rain. She is a seven-time NAACP Image Award winner and the first recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award, and holds the Langston Hughes Medal for Outstanding Poetry, among many other honors.
A beloved American poet who challenges us with powerful verse while illuminating the depths of her own heart, Giovanni is revered in the African-American community as a potent and affirming siren of culture, tradition, and the issues of our time. She continues to read her work all across the country.
Giovanni has received nineteen honorary degrees from colleges and universities; and numerous achievement, humanitarian and other awards of recognition from government, private, and public organizations. She has been presented the keys to more than two dozen cities, including New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, New Orleans, and Baltimore.
Giovanni was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, on June 7, 1943. Although she grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, she and her sister returned to Knoxville each summer to visit their grandparents. Giovanni graduated with honors in history from her grandfather's alma mater, Fisk University. Since 1987, she has been on the faculty at Virginia Tech, where she is a University Distinguished Professor.