Speaking to the World
Boston | Chicago | San Diego | Atlanta
Poet, Educator & Best-Selling Author
Nikki Giovanni is a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. Over the past 30 years, the outspoken nature of her writing and speaking 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." The Academy of American Poets voted Giovanni #1 poet for the spring of 2007. Read More >
Giovanni remains as determined and committed as ever to the fight for civil rights and equality. Always insisting on presenting the truth as she sees it, she has maintained a prominent place as a strong voice of the black community. Her focus is on the individual—specifically, the power one has to make a difference in oneself and in the lives of others.
Giovanni has written more than two dozen books, including volumes of poetry, illustrated children’s books, and three collections of essays. Her book Racism 101 includes bold, controversial essays about the situation of Americans on all sides of various race issues. She has received 21 honorary doctorates and a host of other awards, including Woman of the Year titles from three different magazines and the Governors’ Awards in the Arts from both Tennessee and Virginia. Rosa, her biography of legendary civil rights activist Rosa Parks, won Caldecott Honors and the Coretta Scott King Medal for best illustrated book. Other books include the collection of adult poetry Acolytes and the novel On My Journey Now: Looking at African American History Through the Spirituals. Three of her volumes of poetry—Love Poems, Blues: For All the Changes, and Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea—were winners of the NAACP Image Award in 1998, 2000, and 2003. Her newly released collection, Bicycles: Love Poems, has been called one of her “most powerful offerings to date” by Essence magazine.
Nikki Giovanni taught writing and literature at Virginia Tech from 1987 to 2022, where she was a distinguished professor. As a devoted and passionate writer, teacher, and speaker, she inspires not only her students but also readers and audiences nationwide. Her album Truth Is on Its Way, in which she reads her poetry against a background of gospel music, was a top 100 album and was named Best Spoken Word Album by the National Association of Radio and Television Announcers. The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection, a spoken-word CD, was a finalist for the 2003 Grammy Award in the category of spoken word. Read Less ^
"Nikki Giovanni was a pure gem. Her keynote address was amazing and the audience was entertained and moved. Thank you for all of your help in ensuring a great Black Ink book festival via Nikki Giovanni's presence and keynote."
"Thank you so, so much! Nikki was an OUTSTANDING speaker! We send our deep gratitude to your team for coordinating her participation. Thank you!"
"Words can't describe it! Ms. Giovanni is incredible - spending the afternoon with her has changed my life! Our students and community packed the house - we haven't had the house packed in many moons! We filled the audience and overflowed the overflow (about 700 people were here!)"
"Nikki was just great! We had a wonderful evening with her. She was very gracious, which made for an exciting evening. Thank you for setting up her schedule where she met with faculty members. I have received several positive comments from them expressing their pleasure in having a private opportunity to spend some time with her. We really enjoyed having her visit our campus."
"The event went well, and Ms. Giovanni was spectacular. She spoke to a full house--at least 300 people. And afterwards, everyone commented on how gracious and engaging she was. It was a pleasure working with the American Program Bureau to bring Ms. Giovanni to our stage."
"Nikki was absolutely wonderful. She was well received by the RWU and local community. I’m so pleased that she was able to come and share her experiences, wisdom and time with us."
"Nikki Giovanni was wonderful! She was insightful, political, satirical, humorous, and personable. Several people came up to me afterwards to thank us for bringing her."
"The event was great and Nikki was the reason. She was absolutely fabulous, everyone enjoyed her comments, and she went above and beyond the call of duty during her visit."
Email Your List
You’ve reached your maximum number of speakers for this list.
Email Your List