The Wright Conversations with Poet Nikki Giovanni

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Program Description:

As part of its Wright Conversations series, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History presents Nikki Giovanni, one of this country’s most widely read poets and one of America’s most renowned poets worldwide. Her poem, “Knoxville, Tennessee,” is arguably the single literary work most often associated with that city. Giovanni has received numerous awards in the course of her career, including seven Image Awards from the N.A.A.C.P., more than two-dozen honorary degrees, the first Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award, the Langston Hughes Medal for Poetry, and the Carl Sandburg Literary Award; additionally, Oprah Winfrey recognized her in 2005 as one of twenty-five “Living Legends.” She continues to teach, write, and publish books. Her most recent collection, “Make Me Rain,” was released in October of 2020.

Guest Biography:

Nikki Giovanni, Poet

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. She has been nominated for a Grammy and a finalist for the National Book Award. She has authored three New York Times and Los Angeles Times best-sellers, highly unusual for a poet. For more information in the words of the poet herself, visit here.

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