Join us as we welcome Nikki Giovanni, poet and University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech. Ms. Giovanni will be this year's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr./Black History Month Symposium keynote speaker.
A brief biography in Ms. Giovanni's own words:
"I was asked to do a biography, so this is it. I am 71 years old. I highly recommend old age; it’s fun. I have been awarded an unprecedented seven NAACP Image Awards, which makes me very very proud. I have been nominated for a Grammy; been a finalist for the National Book Award. I am very proud to have authored three New York Times and Los Angeles Times best-sellers, highly unusual for a poet. I am a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech. I don’t have a lot of friends, but I have good ones. I have a son and a granddaughter. My father, mother, sister and middle aunt are all deceased literarily making me go from being the baby in the family to being an elder. I like to cook, travel and dream. I’m a writer. I’m happy."
Nikki Giovanni is one of America’s most celebrated poets. Her work, which has both drawn from and influenced the Civil Rights, Black Power, and Black Arts Movements, has been central to the cultural conversation since Giovanni first rose to prominence in the 1960s. Her literary contributions include books for children and adults, creative nonfiction and spoken-word albums. She has been awarded 25 honorary doctorates, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, numerous NAACP Image Awards, the Rosa Parks Women of Courage Award, the Langston Hughes Award and the Maya Angelou Lifetime Achievement Award. Since 1987 she has been a member of the faculty at Virginia Tech, where she is a University Distinguished Professor.