Video: Poet Nikki Giovanni Reads at Cave Canem 2012On June 21, Cave Canem, in partnership with City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, presented a free reading on Pittsburgh’s Monterey Street where Nikki Giovanni read, along with poets Angela Jackson, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Nikky Finney, and Terrance Hayes.
Poet Nikki 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. Nikki 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.
Many of Giovanni’s books have received honors and awards. Her autobiography, Gemini, was a finalist for the National Book Award; Love Poems, Blues: For All the Changes, Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea, Acolytes, and Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat 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, about the civil rights legend Rosa Parks, became a Caldecott Honors Book, and Bryan Collier, the illustrator, was given the Coretta Scott King award for best illustration.
1. “Ego Tripping” (0:00)
2. “Tennessean by Birth” “1:52)