Yolande Cornelia Nikki Giovanni
Born: June 7, 1943
Birthplace: Knoxville, Tennessee
A leading poet of the Black Arts Movement, Giovanni's work reflects her radical politics. In 1967 she graduated from Fisk University and published her first poetry collection, Black Feeling. It was followed by the poetry collections Black Talk (1968) and Black Judgment (1970). Truth Is on Its Way, a recording of Giovanni reading poems set to gospel and other Black music, was a bestseller in 1971. After the birth of her son in 1969, Giovanni's work became more personal and less political. In 1989 she began teaching English at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. The Selected Poems of Nikki Giovanni was published in 1996, Blues for All the Changes: New Poems appeared in 1999, and The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968–1998 came out in 2003.