Cover image for The collected poetry of Nikki Giovanni, 1968-1998
The collected poetry of Nikki Giovanni, 1968-1998
Giovanni, Nikki.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, [2003]

Physical Description:
xliii, 452 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PS3557.I55 A6 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Kenmore Library PS3557.I55 A6 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Lackawanna Library PS3557.I55 A6 2003 Adult Fiction African American
Frank E. Merriweather Library PS3557.I55 A6 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Frank E. Merriweather Library PS3557.I55 A6 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ
Williamsville Library PS3557.I55 A6 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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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.

Author Notes

Nikki Giovanni is one of the most prominent black poets of her generation. Born on June 7, 1943, in Knoxville, Tenn., she graduated from Fisk University and later studied at Columbia University. Giovanni creates strongly written poems to convey messages of love, frustration, alienation, and the black experience. She gained national fame with the publication of Black Feeling, Black Talk, Black Judgement in 1970. Full of the spirit of the black community during this era, her works captured the anger and frustration of many of its members.

Giovanni has been the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ford Foundation. She has taught English at Rutgers University, Ohio State University, and Queens College and has given frequent poetry readings. She is also known for several sound recordings of her poetry, including Truth Is On Its Way. She has also been a Professor of English at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

(Bowker Author Biography)



The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni On Hearing "The Girl with the Flaxen Hair" He has a girl who has flaxen hair My woman has hair of gray I have a woman who wakes up at dawn His girl can sleep through the day His girl has hands soothed with perfumes sweet She has lips soft and pink My woman's lips burn in midday sun My woman's hands--black like ink He can make music to please his girl Night comes I'm tired and beat He can make notes, make her heart beat fast Night comes I want off my feet Maybe if I don't pick cotton so fast Maybe I'd sing pretty too Sing to my woman with hair of gray Croon softly, Baby it's you The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni . Copyright © by Nikki Giovanni. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni by Nikki Giovanni All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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