For the first time ever, the complete poetry collection spanning three decades from Nikki Giovanni, renowned poet and one of America's national treasures.
When her poems first emerged during the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s, Nikki Giovanni immediately took her place among the most celebrated, controversial, and influential poets of the era. Now, more than thirty years later, Giovanni still stands as one of the most commanding, luminous voices to grace America's political and poetic landscape.
The first of its kind, this omnibus collection covers Nikki Giovanni's complete work of poetry from three decades, 1968-1998. The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni contains Giovanni's first seven volumes of poetry: 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. Arranged chronologically with a biographical timeline and introduction, a new afterword from the author, title and first-line indexes, and extensive notes to the poems, this collection is the testimony of a life's work -- from one of America's most beloved daughters and powerful poets.
Known for their iconic revolutionary phrases, Black Feeling Black Talk (1968), Black Judgement (1968), and Re: Creation (1970) are heralded as being among the most important volumes of contemporary poetry. My House (1972) marks a new dimension in tone and philosophy -- it signifies a new self-confidence and maturity as Giovanni artfully connects the private and the public, the personal and the political. In The Women and the Men (1975), Giovanni displays her compassion for the people, things, and places she has encountered -- she reveres the ordinary and is in search of the extraordinary. Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day (1978) is one of the most poignant and introspective. These poems chronicle the drastic change that took place during the 1970s -- in both the consciousness of the nation and in the soul of the poet -- when the dreams of the Civil Rights era seemed to have evaporated. Those Who Ride the Night Winds (1983) is devoted to "the day trippers and midnight cowboys," the ones who have devoted their lives to pushing the limits of the human condition and shattering the constraints of the status quo.
Each volume reflects the changes Giovanni has endured as a Black woman, lover, mother, teacher, and poet. A timeless classic, The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni is the evocation of a nation's past and present -- intensely personal and fiercely political -- from one of our most compassionate, vibrant observers.
About the Author
Nikki Giovanni has written many books of poetry for children and adults. She is the author of "Rosa", a Caldecott Honor book, "Lincoln and Douglass", "The Genie in the Jar", and "Ego-tripping and Other Poems for Young People". Giovanni calls herself, "a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English." She was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and grew up in Lincoln Heights, an all-black suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. She studied at Fisk University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University. She published her first book of poetry, "Black Feeling Black Talk", in 1968, and since then has become one of America's most widely read poets. Oprah Winfrey named her as one of her twenty-five "Living Legends." Her autobiography "Gemini" was a finalist for the National Book Award, and several of her books have received NAACP Image Awards. She has received some twenty-five honorary degrees, been named Woman of the Year by "Mademoiselle Magazine", "The Ladies Home Journal" and "Ebony", was the first recipient of the Rosa L. Parks Woman of Courage Award, and has been awarded the Langston Hughes Medal for poetry. Nikki Giovanni lives in Christiansburg, Virginia, where she is a professor of English at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
“One of the finest poets of our time. . . Her work still resonates.”
“Fiery yet personal . . . an ample and diligent introduction, chronology and notes to individual works.”
“Wise and mischievous, Giovanni is a must-read at every stage if her happily, still growing oeuvre.”
“What a powerful first impression she made. This collection of early work is an excellent reminder.”