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Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall
200 University St, Seattle, Washington 98101
***NOTE: This event will be hosted by Nikkita Oliver. Nikkita is a poet, teacher, lawyer, and community activist who was the Peoples Party candidate for Mayor of the City of Seattle.***
This event is part of the Sherman Alexie Loves series, a three-part series curated by Seattle’s favorite novelist, poet, playwright, and children's author, Sherman Alexie, and highlighting authors he loves and champions.
Poet, activist, and educator Yolanda Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni has captured America’s heart with her fiery, funny, and insightful verse for over 30 years. Giovanni was an integral part of the Civil Rights era, re-establishing the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) at Fisk University in 1965 and was heavily involved in the Black Arts Movement of the early 1970’s, hailed by critics as the “Princess of Black Poetry.”
Giovanni returns as relevant as ever with a new a poetry collection, A Good Cry: What We Learn from Tears and Laughter, a veritable memoir in verse “recalling the violence that permeated her parents’ marriage and her early life, and how she came to live with the grandparents who she credits with saving her life.” Her new book also explores the good and bad of aging and pays tribute to Giovanni’s most cherished poets, thinkers, and students, including her good friend Maya Angelou.
Giovanni was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, on June 7, 1943, and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. After earning a B.A. from Fisk University in Nashville in 1967, she organized the Black Arts Festival in Cincinnati before entering graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. She is currently a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech, where she has taught since 1987.