Nikki Giovanni Books: Yolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni Jr. is an American poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. We hope that you enjoy our list of the best Nikki Giovanni Books.
For more than fifty years, Nikki Giovanni’s poetry has dazzled and inspired readers. As sharp and outspoken as ever, she returns with this profound book of poetry in which she continues to call attention to injustice and racism, celebrate Black culture and Black lives, and and give readers an unfiltered look into her own experiences.
In Make Me Rain, she celebrates her loved ones and unapologetically declares her pride in her Black heritage, while exploring the enduring impact of the twin sins of racism and white nationalism. Giovanni reaffirms her place as a uniquely vibrant and relevant American voice with poems such as “I Come from Athletes” and “Rainy Days”—calling out segregation and Donald Trump; as well as “Unloved (for Aunt Cleota)” and “”When I Could No Longer”—her personal elegy for the relatives who saved her from an abusive home life.
This omnibus includes her first seven volumes of poetry from her early years, 1967 to 1983: Black Feeling Black Talk; Black Judgement; Re: Creation; My House; The Women and the Men; Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day; and Those Who Ride the Night Winds. A timeless classic, it is both a reflection of the changes in her own life and an evocation of a nation’s past and its present.
One of America’s most celebrated poets looks inward in this powerful collection, a rumination on her life and the people who have shaped her.
As energetic and relevant as ever, Nikki now offers us an intimate, affecting, and illuminating look at her personal history and the mysteries of her own heart. In A Good Cry, she takes us into her confidence, describing the joy and peril of aging and recalling the violence that permeated her parents’ marriage and her early life. She pays homage to the people who have given her life meaning and joy: her grandparents, who took her in and saved her life; the poets and thinkers who have influenced her; and the students who have surrounded her. Nikki also celebrates her good friend, Maya Angelou, and the many years of friendship, poetry, and kitchen-table laughter they shared before Angelou’s death in 2014.
Fifty years after her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus, Mrs. Rosa Parks is still one of the most important figures in the American civil rights movement. This picture- book tribute to Mrs. Parks is a celebration of her courageous action and the events that followed.
Award-winning poet, writer, and activist Nikki Giovanni’s evocative text combines with Bryan Collier’s striking cut-paper images to retell the story of this historic event from a wholly unique and original perspective.
In a career that has spanned more than a quarter century, Nikki Giovanni has earned the reputation as one of America’s most celebrated and contoversial writers.Now, she presents a stunning collection of love poems that includes more than twenty new works.
From the revolutionary “Seduction” to the tender new poem, “Just a Simple Declaration of Love,” from the whimsical “I Wrote a Good Omelet” to the elegiac “All Eyez on U,” written for Tupac Shakur, these poems embody the fearless passion and spirited wit for which Nikki Giovanni is beloved and revered.
Romantic, bold, and erotic, Love Poems expresses notions of love in ways that are delightfully unexpected. Articulating in sensuous verse what we know only instinctively, Nikki Giovanni once again confirms her place as one of our nations’s most distinguished poets and powerful truth-tellers.
The poetry of Nikki Giovanni has spurred movements and inspired songs, turned hearts and informed generations. She’s been hailed as a healer and as a national treasure. But Giovanni’s heart resides in the everyday, where family and lovers gather, friends commune, and those no longer with us are remembered. And at every gathering there is food—food as sustenance, food as aphrodisiac, food as memory. A pot of beans is flavored with her mother’s sighs—this sigh part cardamom, that one the essence of clove; a lover requests a banquet as an affirmation of ongoing passion; homage is paid to the most time-honored appetizer: soup.
With BICYCLES, she’s collected poems that serve as a companion to her 1997 LOVE POEMS. An instant classic, that book–romantic, bold, and erotic–expressed notions of love in ways that were delightfully unexpected. In the years that followed, Giovanni experienced losses both public and private. A mother’s passing, a sister’s, too. A massacre on the campus at which she teaches. And just when it seemed life was spinning out of control, Giovanni rediscovered love–what she calls the antidote. Here romantic love–and all its manifestations, the physical touch, the emotional pull, the hungry heart–is distilled as never before by one of our most talented poets. In a time of national crisis or personal crisis, this is a collection that will open minds and change hearts as only the best art can.
Borrowing the title of a traditional African American hymn, Standing in the Need of Prayer poetically describes the vulnerability of black men and the ongoing injustice they encounter in America. Noted poet, Nikki Giovanni speaks to participants of the Million Man March, Tupac’s mother, and expresses her own trepidation felt in response to late-night callers who may or may not be the bearers of tragic news. Her writings are bookended with poems by DXTR Spits (Jordan Holmes) as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Jericho Brown. Illustrator, Emily Thornton Calvo punctuates each poem with art that depicts the anger and frustration as well as the constant concern felt by those who love them. Standing in the Need of Prayer is critical to those who care about understanding the position of others who live under the weight of systemic racism–and a call for prayers to protect them.
Intimate, edgy, and unapologetic, Blues: For All the Changes bears the mark of Nikki Giovanni’s unmistakable voice.In a career that has spanned three decades, Giovanni has created an indispensable body of work and earned a place amoung the nation’s most celebrated and controversial poets; Gloria Naylor calls her “one of our national treasures.” Now, in these fifty-two new poems, Giovanni brings the passion, fearless wit, and intensely personal self that have defined her life’s work to a new front.
Invoking the fates and exalting the rhythm of the everyday, Giovanni writes with might and majesty. From the environment to our reliance on manners, from sex and politics to love among Black folk, Blues is a masterwork with poems for every soul and every mood: The poignant “Stealing Home” pays tribute to Jackie Robinson, while “Road Rage Blues” jams on time and space; Giovanni celebrates love’s absolut power in “Train Rides” and laments life’s trasience in “Me and Mrs. Robin.” With the tenderness that has made her on of our most accessible and beloved poets, Giovanni evokes a world that is not only just but also happy. Her powerful stand engages the world with a truth telling that is as eloquent as it is elegant.
A collection of eighty all new poems, Acolytes is distinctly Nikki Giovanni, but different. Not softened, but more inspired by love, celebration, memories and even nostalgia. She aims her intimate and sparing words at family and friends, the deaths of heroes and friends, favorite meals and candy, nature, libraries, and theatre. But in between, the deep and edgy conscience that has defined her for decades shines through when she writes about Rosa Parks, hurricane Katrina, and Emmett Till’s disappearance, leaving no doubt that Nikki has not traded one approach for another, but simply made room for both.
Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea is a tour de force from Nikki Giovanni, one of the most powerful voices in American poetry and African American literature today. From Black Feeling, Black Talk and Black Judgment in the 1960s to Bicycles in 2010, Giovanni’s poetry has influenced literary figures from James Baldwin to Blackalicious, and touched millions of readers worldwide. In Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea, Giovanni turns her gaze toward the state of the world around her, and offers a daring, resonant look inside her own self as well.
This omnibus edition collects celebrated poet and activist Nikki Giovanni’s adult prose: Racism 101, Sacred Cows and Other Edibles and seven (7) selections from Gemini: An Extended Autobiographical Statement on My First Twenty-Five Years of Being a Black Poet, which was nominated for the National Book Award in 1971.
Racism 101 (1994) contains essays that indict higher education for the inequities it perpetuates and contemplates the legacy of the 1960s. Giovanni gives searing commentary on Spike Lee and the making of Malcolm X, W.E.B. DuBois, affirmative action, President JFK and the state of urban schools. Racism 101 adds an important chapter to the debate on American national values.