Nikki Giovanni
A Literary Biography
by Virginia C. Fowler
January 2013, 222pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-98752-7
$65, £50, 57€, A90
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-0-313-05134-0
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For more than 40 years, Nikki Giovanni has published award-winning volumes of poetry that explore the workings of the human heart, the lessons of the past, and the impact of the larger social and political world upon the individual. Throughout her work, Giovanni consistently created art and beauty from the lives and experiences of ordinary people.

This book offers a comprehensive examination of the life and work of Nikki Giovanni, one of the most prolific and well-known poets to emerge during the Black Arts Movement.

Nikki Giovanni: A Literary Biography focuses on one of the most widely read poets to emerge from the Black Arts Movement, providing a thorough examination of Giovanni’s life and work, from her earliest volume of poetry, Black Feeling Black Talk, to the recent Bicycles. The book addresses Giovanni’s preoccupation with historical themes and the past, and demonstrates the pervasiveness of music in Giovanni’s poetry.

Drawing on extensive interviews with Giovanni’s friends and family, this book offers biographical information not previously available in other publications. It references material from Giovanni’s prose works to illuminate and contextualize the analysis of her poetry, examining its highly allusive and topical nature. The book also shows the intersections of Giovanni’s biography and the public history of the United States from the 1960s to the present, making it of interest to general readers as well as those studying American and African-American poetry or black feminism.

Virginia C. Fowler, PhD, is professor of English at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. Her published works include Henry James's American Girl: The Embroidery on the Canvas; Gloria Naylor: In Search of Sanctuary; and Conversations with Nikki Giovanni. Fowler holds a doctorate in English from the University of Pittsburgh.


"More avant-garde than representative of the Black Arts Movement, Giovanni's militant and impassioned cry for change began her lifelong campaign for civil justice. Her support and willingness to share her life and work with Fowler make this literary biography an excellent resource for even casual readers who are interested in American, black, and feminist studies."—Choice, July 1, 2013
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