It feels good and right this week to sit with the beloved writer Nikki Giovanni’s signature mix of high seriousness, sweeping perspective, and insistent pleasure. In the 1960s, she was a poet of the Black Arts Movement that nourished civil rights. She’s also a professor at Virginia Tech, where she brought beauty and courage after the 2007 shooting there. And she’s an adored voice to a new generation — an enthusiastic elder to us all — at home in her body and in the world of her lifetime even while she sees and delights in the beyond of it.
Nikki Giovanni is a University Distinguished Professor in the English department at Virginia Tech. She has written and edited numerous books of poetry and works for children, including Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea
, Black Feeling, Black Talk/Black Judgment
, and The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni
. Her latest work is Make Me Rain: Poems & Prose.
This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode Nikki Giovanni — ‘We go forward with a sanity and a love’ Find more at onbeing.org
This show originally aired on March 17, 2016.