Nikki Giovanni to Present Eckler Lecture at Mount Union College

May 10, 2010

Nikki Giovanni will bring her inspiring message back to the Mount Union College campus as part of the Eckler Lecture series on October 19 at 7 p.m. in the Rodman Playhouse.


An author and poet of nearly 20 books selling more than 100 thousand copies, Giovanni has inspired readers and critics with her message about the power of an individual to make a difference in oneself and in the lives of others.

Some of these works include "Black Feeling,' 'Black Talk/Black Judgment,' "The Women and the Men,' 'Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day,' 'Those Who Ride the Night Winds,' 'Sacred Cows and Other Edibles' and 'Racism 101.' Her book 'Blues: For All the Changes' made the Los Angeles Times bestseller list, which marked the first time a poet had ever been listed.

Her more recent works, 'The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998' and 'The Prosaic Soul of Nikki Giovanni' were published in 2003.

Not only has she written poetry aimed at the adult audience, but she has also begun writing children's poetry. Giovanni said that it was her experience as a single mom that led her to write children's poetry.

She has been honored for many of her works including 'The Selected Poems of Nikki Giovanni,' 'The Love Poems of Nikki Giovanni,' 'The Sun Is So Quiet' and more. She was also named woman of the year by three different magazines. In 2004, her self-narrated CD, 'The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection,' was nominated for a Grammy.

Born Yolanda Cornelia "Nikki" Giovanni, Jr. in Knoxville, TN. and raised in Cincinnati, she earned a bachelor of arts degree from Fisk University. After graduation, Giovanni organized The Black Arts Festival in Cincinnati before enrolling in the graduate program at the University of Pennsylvania. She currently teaches writing, poetry and literature at Virginia Techwhere she has been named University Distinguished Professor.

The Eckler Lecture in Literature and Drama was established in 1981 through an endowment given by Mr. John A. and Mrs. Dorothy (Nelson '29) Cummins in appreciation of the many years of service to the community and Mount Union College by the Ecklers. Dr. Eric A. and Mrs. Mary Eckler were long-time faculty members in Mount Union's English department.

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