Synopses & Reviews
Intimate, edgy, and unapologetic, Blues: For All the Changes
bears the mark of Nikki Giovanni's unmistakable voice.In a career that has spanned three decades, Giovanni has created an indispensable body of work and earned a place amoung the nation's most celebrated and controversial poets; Gloria Naylor calls her "one of our national treasures." Now, in these fifty-two new poems, Giovanni brings the passion, fearless wit, and intensely personal self that have defined her life's work to a new front.
Invoking the fates and exalting the rhythm of the everyday, Giovanni writes with might and majesty. From the environment to our reliance on manners, from sex and politics to love among Black folk, Blues is a masterwork with poems for every soul and every mood: The poignant "Stealing Home" pays tribute to Jackie Robinson, while "Road Rage Blues" jams on time and space; Giovanni celebrates love's absolut power in "Train Rides" and laments life's trasience in "Me and Mrs. Robin." With the tenderness that has made her on of our most accessible and beloved poets, Giovanni evokes a world that is not only just but also happy. Her powerful stand engages the world with a truth telling that is as eloquent as it is elegant.Intimate, edgy, and unapologetic, Blues For All the Changes bears the mark of Nikki Giovanni's unmistakable voice. At once political and intensely personal, this long-awaited volume embodies the fearless passion and wit that have made Nikki Giovanni one of our most accessible poets; her audience defies all boundaries of race, class, age, and style.
From the poignant "Stealing Home," Ms. Giovanni's tribute to Jackie Robinson, to the defiant "Road Rage Blues," a jam on time and space, these fifty-one poems challenge the fates and invoke the precarious state of our environment, Giovanni's battle with illness, manners, and other topics seminal to one of our most compassionate, outspoken observers.
With a reverence for the power of language, Blues For All the Changes will once again enchant Nikki Giovanni's extensive following and inspire those who are newly discovering her work.
About the Author
When Nikki Giovanni's poems first emerged during the Civil Rights, Black Power and Black Arts Movements in the 1960s, she immediately took a place among the most celebrated and influential poets of the era. Now, more than 30 years later, Nikki Giovanni still stands as one of the most commanding, luminous voices to grace America's political and poetic landscape.
Poet, activist, mother and professor Nikki Giovanni was born June 7, 1943, in Knoxville, Tennessee. While a student at Fisk University, she re-established the campus's Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Chapter in 1965. In New York, 1968, after studying at University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Work and Columbia University's School of Fine Arts and, she self-published her first volume of poetry Black Feeling, Black Talk.
Over the span of 30 years as a poet, Ms. Giovanni has received nineteen honorary degrees from colleges and universities including, Fisk University, Smith College, Indiana University, Delaware State University, and University of Maryland. Her numerous awards include Woman of the Year for Ebony, Mademoiselle, Essence, and Ladies Home Journalmagazines; YWCA Woman of the Year, Cincinnati Chapter; Outstanding Woman of Tennessee Award; Ohio Women's Hall of Fame induction; Distinguished Recognition Award, Detroit City Council; McDonald's Literary Achievement Award for Poetry presented in the name of Nikki Giovanni in perpetuity; Outstanding Humanitarian Award, The House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Kentucky; two Tennessee Governor's Award in the Arts and in the Humanities; the Virginia Governor's Award; and two NAACP Image Awards for Love Poemsand Blues: For All the Changes. Ms. Giovanni has been given the keys to more than a dozen cities, including New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, New Orleans, and Baltimore. Most recently, she was named the first recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award.
Nikki Giovanni is the author of 16 books of poetry for adults and children including the seminal Black Feeling, Black Talk/Black Judgement, Re: Creation, My House, The Women and the Men, Those Who Ride the Night Winds, The Selected Poems of Nikki Giovanni, Love Poemsand her most recent Blues: For All the Changes. Nikki is University Distinguished Professor/English at Virginia Tech. She continues to read her work all over the country.