Nikki Giovanni's poetry has spurred movements and inspired songs, turned hearts and informed generations. She's been hailed as a healer and as a national treasure. But Giovanni's heart resides in the everyday, where family and lovers gather, friends commune, and those no longer with us are remembered. And at every gathering there is food--food as sustenance, food as aphrodisiac, food as memory. A pot of beans is flavored with her mother's sighs--this sigh part cardamom, that one the essence of clove; a lover requests a banquet as an affirmation of ongoing passion; homage is paid to the most time-honored appetizer: soup.
With Chasing Utopia, Giovanni demands that the prosaic--flowers, birdsong, win-ter--be seen as poetic, and reaffirms once again why she is as energetic, "remarkable" (Gwendolyn Brooks), "wonderful" (Marian Wright Edelman),"outspoken, prolific, energetic" (New York Times), and relevant as ever.
About the Author
Nikki Giovanni has written many books of poetry for children and adults. She is the author of "Rosa", a Caldecott Honor book, "Lincoln and Douglass", "The Genie in the Jar", and "Ego-tripping and Other Poems for Young People". Giovanni calls herself, "a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English." She was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and grew up in Lincoln Heights, an all-black suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. She studied at Fisk University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University. She published her first book of poetry, "Black Feeling Black Talk", in 1968, and since then has become one of America's most widely read poets. Oprah Winfrey named her as one of her twenty-five "Living Legends." Her autobiography "Gemini" was a finalist for the National Book Award, and several of her books have received NAACP Image Awards. She has received some twenty-five honorary degrees, been named Woman of the Year by "Mademoiselle Magazine", "The Ladies Home Journal" and "Ebony", was the first recipient of the Rosa L. Parks Woman of Courage Award, and has been awarded the Langston Hughes Medal for poetry. Nikki Giovanni lives in Christiansburg, Virginia, where she is a professor of English at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.