Synopses & Reviews
Nikki Giovanni, long known as "the Princess of Black Poetry," dedicates Those Who Ride the Night Winds
to "the day trippers and midnight cowboys," the ones who have devoted their lives to pushing the limits of the human condition and who have shattered the constraints of the status quo to live life as a "marvelous, transitory adventure." Included are poems about John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, as well as friends, lovers, mothers, and the poet herself. With reverence for the ordinary and in search of the extraordinary, Those Who Ride the Night Winds
is Nikki Giovanni's most accessible collection ever. She displays her passion for and connectedness to the people and places that touch her. The reissue of Nikki Giovanni's seminal 1984 collection will once again enchant those who have always loved her poems--and those who are just getting to know her work.
As a witness to three generations, Nikki Giovanni has perceptively and poetically recorded her observations of both the outside world and the gentle yet enigmatic territory of the self. When her poems first emerged from the civil rights and Black Power movements in the late 1960s, she immediately became a celebrated and controversial figure. Written in one of the most commanding voices to grace America's political and poetic landscape at the end of the twentieth century, Nikki Giovanni's poems embody the fearless passion and spirited wit for which she is beloved and revered.Nikki Giovanni is our most widely read living black poet, and in her most accessible collection to date, we become aware of the poet as a human being we can relate to, someone affected by and concerned with events. The title of this collection refers to people who have tried to make changes, people who have gone against the tide, people who were unafraid to test their wings. Included are poems about John Lennon, Billie Jean King, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy. There are poems about friends, lovers, mothers, and about the poet herself.
Long known as the "Princess of Black Poetry," Nikki Giovanni is as alive and vibrant as ever. Her many readers will find once again in this collection the warmth, wit, passion, and caring about people that have always distinguished her work. Strong, direct, tremendously energetic, visionary, vulnerable, and real, these poems reveal a great spirit among us; a woman in her human dimension; a person all readers can identify with and believe in.
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 Journal magazines; 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 Poems and 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 Poems and 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.