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Nikki Giovanni

5 out of 5

Poet, Educator & Best-Selling Author

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 Nikki Giovanni Biography

Nikki Giovanni is one of this country’s most widely read poets and one of America’s most renowned poets world-wide. Her poem, “Knoxville, Tennessee,” is arguably the single literary work most often associated with that city.

Nikki Giovanni was born Yolande Cornelia Giovanni, Jr. in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1943, but her parents moved to the all-black Cincinnati suburb of Lincoln Heights when she was an infant. She and her sisters spent the summers with their grandparents in Knoxville, and she returned there for her high school years. She enrolled as an early entrant at Fisk University, where her grandfather had graduated, but was “released” in February in 1961, because her attitudes were deemed inappropriate for a “Fisk woman.” She then returned home and took classes at the University of Cincinnati until she returned to Fisk in 1964. At Fisk, she reinstituted the school’s chapter of SNCC, edited the literary magazine, and graduated magna cum laude in history in 1967. Returning to Cincinnati, she directed the city’s first Black Arts Festival before enrolling briefly in the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Work. Recognizing that she was not meant to be a social worker, she entered Columbia University’s MFA program. In 1968 she self-published her first poetry book, a nineteen-page staple-bound volume entitled, Black Feeling Black Talk, which sold some 2,000 copies in its first few months, which allowed Giovanni to self-publish her second book of poetry, Black Judgement. William Morrow & Company approached her about publishing her first two volumes together in one book, and Black Feeling Black Talk/Black Judgement was published in 1970.

During the late 60s and early 70s, Giovanni lived in New York and, after giving birth to her only child, Thomas, began earning an income through her lectures and poetry readings. Her frequent appearances on the Black entertainment show SOUL!!, along with her extensive lecture tours, made her one of the most popular and recognizable poets of the Black Arts Movement. In 1971, Gemini: An Extended Autobiographical Statement on My First Twenty-Five Years of Being a Black Poet was a finalist for the National Book Award. In that same year she published her first children’s book, Spin a Soft Black Song, and released the album Truth Is On Its Way Is On Its Way, on which she read her poetry with and in juxtaposition to the New York Community Choir; although she made no money from it, Truth was an enormous success, selling some 100,000 copies in the first six months of its release.

In 1978, Giovanni’s father suffered a stroke, and she and her son returned to Cincinnati to take care of her parents, and she did brief teaching stints at The Ohio State University and the College of Mount St. Joseph on the Ohio. In 1987 Nikki Giovanni began teaching at Virginia Tech, where she was named, in 1999, a University Distinguished Professor. Since she has been at Virginia Tech, she has published two collections of essays, several illustrated children’s books (including the award-winning Rosa), and ten volumes of poetry for adults. In 2005, both her mother and her sister died of lung cancer, for which Giovanni herself had undergone successful surgery some ten years earlier. The loss of her mother was as profound a blow as she had ever experienced.

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, the most recent of which is A Good Cry. Her newest collection, Make Me Rain, was released in October of 2020.

Videos
Books
A Good Cry: What We Learn From Tears and Laughter

A Good Cry: What We Learn From Tears and Laughter

Lincoln And Douglass: An American Friendship

Lincoln And Douglass: An American Friendship

The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998

The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998

On My Journey Now: Looking At African-american History Through The Spirituals

On My Journey Now: Looking At African-american History Through The Spirituals

Racism 101

Racism 101

Speaking Topics
  • An Evening of Poetry, Love, and Enlightenment

  • Breaking the Silence: The Poetry of Cancer Survival

  • Racism 101

  • Diversity as Art: Art is Diversity

  • An Evening With Nikki Giovanni

News
FAQs
  • HOW TO BOOK Nikki Giovanni?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Nikki Giovanni for both live and virtual events for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment. Fill out a booking request form for Nikki Giovanni, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Nikki Giovanni or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Nikki Giovanni?

    Booking fees for Nikki Giovanni, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies between live and virtual events. Other factors that can affect speaker fees include the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. The live and virtual event speaking fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Nikki Giovanni, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Nikki Giovanni?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Nikki Giovanni for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Nikki Giovanni for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Nikki Giovanni or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Nikki Giovanni or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

Nikki Giovanni

5 out of 5

Poet, Educator & Best-Selling Author

Travels From:
Virginia, USA
Speaking Fee:

Nikki Giovanni Biography

Nikki Giovanni is one of this country’s most widely read poets and one of America’s most renowned poets world-wide. Her poem, “Knoxville, Tennessee,” is arguably the single literary work most often associated with that city.

Nikki Giovanni was born Yolande Cornelia Giovanni, Jr. in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1943, but her parents moved to the all-black Cincinnati suburb of Lincoln Heights when she was an infant. She and her sisters spent the summers with their grandparents in Knoxville, and she returned there for her high school years. She enrolled as an early entrant at Fisk University, where her grandfather had graduated, but was “released” in February in 1961, because her attitudes were deemed inappropriate for a “Fisk woman.” She then returned home and took classes at the University of Cincinnati until she returned to Fisk in 1964. At Fisk, she reinstituted the school’s chapter of SNCC, edited the literary magazine, and graduated magna cum laude in history in 1967. Returning to Cincinnati, she directed the city’s first Black Arts Festival before enrolling briefly in the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Work. Recognizing that she was not meant to be a social worker, she entered Columbia University’s MFA program. In 1968 she self-published her first poetry book, a nineteen-page staple-bound volume entitled, Black Feeling Black Talk, which sold some 2,000 copies in its first few months, which allowed Giovanni to self-publish her second book of poetry, Black Judgement. William Morrow & Company approached her about publishing her first two volumes together in one book, and Black Feeling Black Talk/Black Judgement was published in 1970.

During the late 60s and early 70s, Giovanni lived in New York and, after giving birth to her only child, Thomas, began earning an income through her lectures and poetry readings. Her frequent appearances on the Black entertainment show SOUL!!, along with her extensive lecture tours, made her one of the most popular and recognizable poets of the Black Arts Movement. In 1971, Gemini: An Extended Autobiographical Statement on My First Twenty-Five Years of Being a Black Poet was a finalist for the National Book Award. In that same year she published her first children’s book, Spin a Soft Black Song, and released the album Truth Is On Its Way Is On Its Way, on which she read her poetry with and in juxtaposition to the New York Community Choir; although she made no money from it, Truth was an enormous success, selling some 100,000 copies in the first six months of its release.

In 1978, Giovanni’s father suffered a stroke, and she and her son returned to Cincinnati to take care of her parents, and she did brief teaching stints at The Ohio State University and the College of Mount St. Joseph on the Ohio. In 1987 Nikki Giovanni began teaching at Virginia Tech, where she was named, in 1999, a University Distinguished Professor. Since she has been at Virginia Tech, she has published two collections of essays, several illustrated children’s books (including the award-winning Rosa), and ten volumes of poetry for adults. In 2005, both her mother and her sister died of lung cancer, for which Giovanni herself had undergone successful surgery some ten years earlier. The loss of her mother was as profound a blow as she had ever experienced.

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, the most recent of which is A Good Cry. Her newest collection, Make Me Rain, was released in October of 2020.

Nikki Giovanni Videos

  • Nikki Giovanni On Black Women In America + Her Latest Work
    The Breakfast Club features celebrity interviews, Charlamagne tha God’s Donkey of the Day, Angela Yee’s Rumor Reports, DJ Envy’s mixes and so...
  • Nikki Giovanni reads "Black Lives Matter"
    Subscribe to HarperCollins Studio to see all the newest videos! - http://goo.gl/Rge4H3​ Discover more great books and authors at:...
  • WIU Keynote Speaker Nikki Giovanni
    On Thursday, March 1, 2018, Nikki Giovanni will deliver a keynote on the intersectionality of Black History and Women History. Please join us in the...

Nikki Giovanni Books

Speaker Lists Featuring Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni Speaking Topics

  • An Evening of Poetry, Love, and Enlightenment

  • Breaking the Silence: The Poetry of Cancer Survival

  • Racism 101

  • Diversity as Art: Art is Diversity

  • An Evening With Nikki Giovanni

FAQs on booking Nikki Giovanni

  • How to book Nikki Giovanni?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Nikki Giovanni for both live and virtual events for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment. Fill out a booking request form for Nikki Giovanni, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Nikki Giovanni or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Nikki Giovanni?

    Booking fees for Nikki Giovanni, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies between live and virtual events. Other factors that can affect speaker fees include the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. The live and virtual event speaking fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Nikki Giovanni, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Nikki Giovanni?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Nikki Giovanni for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Nikki Giovanni for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Nikki Giovanni or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Nikki Giovanni or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Nikki Giovanni is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as An Evening of Poetry, Love, and Enlightenment, Breaking the Silence: The Poetry of Cancer Survival, Racism 101, Diversity as Art: Art is Diversity and An Evening With Nikki Giovanni. The estimated speaking fee range to book Nikki Giovanni for your event is available upon request. Nikki Giovanni generally travels from VA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Angela Davis, Ellen McGirt, Tamika D. Mallory, Bakari Sellers and Clayborne Carson. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Nikki Giovanni for an upcoming live or virtual event.

Nikki Giovanni Speaker Videos

  • Nikki Giovanni On Black Women In America + Her Latest Work
    The Breakfast Club features celebrity interviews, Charlamagne tha God’s Donkey of the Day, Angela Yee’s Rumor Reports, DJ Envy’s mixes and so much more! Every guest visiting the world’s...
    Nikki Giovanni reads "Black Lives Matter"
    Subscribe to HarperCollins Studio to see all the newest videos! - http://goo.gl/Rge4H3​ Discover more great books and authors at: http://www.harpercollins.com​ HarperCollins Studio is your...
  • WIU Keynote Speaker Nikki Giovanni
    On Thursday, March 1, 2018, Nikki Giovanni will deliver a keynote on the intersectionality of Black History and Women History. Please join us in the University Union Heritage Room. Giovanni is an...
    Why Not the Right Thing the First Time | Nikki Giovanni | TEDxHerndon
    Life is good; love is fun. Why not enjoy them both? This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Nikki Giovanni Speaking Topics

  • An Evening of Poetry, Love, and Enlightenment

  • Breaking the Silence: The Poetry of Cancer Survival

  • Racism 101

  • Diversity as Art: Art is Diversity

  • An Evening With Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni News

Tell us about your event!

During normal business hours, we respond to most inquiries within 4 hours.

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Speakers Similar to Nikki Giovanni

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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