Black American poet at UWP for reading, book signing

January 28, 2003

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2003_01_28.jpgNikki Giovanni, poet, essayist and lecturer from Blacksburg, Va.

PLATTEVILLE - A black American poet of international distinction, Nikki Giovanni, will present selections of her work at a University of Wisconsin-Platteville poetry reading and reception set for Friday, Feb. 28, at 12 p.m. in the Beaux Arts Room of the Ullsvik Center.

The event, which also includes a book signing, is free and open to the public.

As poet, essayist and lecturer, Giovanni, of Blacksburg, Va., has won numerous awards for her work. She will also be available at a book signing of her most books including "Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea," "Love Poems" and "Blues for All the Changes."

UWP Women's Center Director Patricia Foster said Giovanni's appearance will be a great opportunity for the University as well as the community. "We are so fortunate to have an internationally known and a most distinguished poet like Nikki Giovanni here."

Funding is provided in part by the UW-Platteville Foundation Opportunity Grant Fund. Sponsoring UWP groups include the Women's Center, Women's Studies, Pre-College Programs, Student Affairs and Multicultural Services.

Giovanni is considered a leader in the black poetry and black arts movement. Her collection of poetry, "Black Feeling," "Black Talk," and "Black Judgment" captures the militant attitude of the civil rights and black art movement.

In other works Giovanni also focuses on her family and personal relationships. She is known for her recordings of her conversations with prominent African-American writers James Baldwin and Margaret Walker.

Giovanni has been awarded numerous honorary doctorate degrees and honors. She continues to write, speak and teach about the history and future of black people.

Giovanni was born Yolande Cornelia Giovanni, Jr., in Knoxville, Tenn., in 1943. She attended Fisk University where she received her degree in 1967. Giovanni has further studied at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Work and Columbia University's School of Fine Arts. In 1970, Giovanni founded a publishing company called Niktom Limited. She now works as a professor in the English department of Virginia Polytechnical Institute.

For further information about the event, please call 608-342-1453.

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