An Evening with Nikki Giovanni
discussing her upcoming book,
“A Good Cry: What We Learn from Tears and Laughter.”
Poet, activist, mother, and professor, Nikki Giovanni was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. She has received nineteen honorary degrees from colleges and universities; numerous achievement, humanitarian, and recognition awards from government, private, and public organizations, including Woman of the Year for Ebony, Mademoiselle, Essence, and Ladies Home Journal magazines and seven NAACP Image Awards. She was also the first recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award.
The author of twenty-seven books, including the seminal Black Feeling Black Talk/Black Judgment, Giovanni is a University Distinguished Professor/English at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA.
Watch a video of Giovanni at the New York Times/The Read Around-Nikki Giovanni
“I had no idea
Grandmother had to beg
A white man to let me
enroll in Austin High
Where I needed clothes
From Miller and Rich’s
Shoes a coat and stuff
All I knew then
Was the sound
Of my father hitting
My mother every Saturday
Night until I heard
Her say ‘Gus, please
Don’t hit me.’ “
In A Good Cry: What We Learn from Tears and Laughter, Nikki Giovanni recalls 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. She also reveals the joy and peril of aging, and pays tribute to the poets, thinkers and students who hold court inside her mind and heart—including her good friend Maya Angelou, and the many years of friendship, poetry, and kitchen-table laughter they shared before Angelou’s death in 2014.
In A Good Cry one of America’s most celebrated poets looks inward, in a powerful rumination on her life and the people who have shaped her.
$38 General Admission seat + a copy of A Good Cry
$48 Reserved Section Seat + a copy of A Good Cry
$95 Reception (6;30-7:30pm), Reserved Seat + Book
$20 General Admission Seat (on sale Sep 25)