Savannah State University (SSU) will host world-renowned poet Nikki Giovanni at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30, in the Student Union ballroom. During the two-hour session, Giovanni will share some of her written works and speak on the topic of “Writing and Empowerment,” describing the role writing has played in her life, outlook and success. The session, which includes a period for questions, book signings, autographs and photos, is free and open to the public.
Born in Knoxville, Tenn., Giovanni is one of the most widely read American poets. She also is an activist, commentator and educator. During her career, the outspoken Giovanni has written some 30 books, which include volumes of poetry, illustrated children’s books and several collections of essays. Many of her books have received honors and awards. Giovanni’s autobiography, Gemini, was a finalist for the National Book Award while Love Poems; Blues: For All the Changes; Quilting the Black- Eyed Pea; Acolytes; and Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat were all honored with the NAACP Image Award. Her Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection, a CD on which she reads and talks about her poetry, was a nominee for the 2003 Grammy Award in the spoken-word category. Since 1987, Giovanni has taught writing and literature at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., where she is a University Distinguished Professor.
Giovanni is the recipient of numerous honorary doctorate degrees, awards and accolades, including being named one of Oprah Winfrey’s 25 “Living Legends.” Still a strong voice of the Black community, Giovanni remains determined and committed to the fight for civil rights and equality.
Giovanni is the keynote speaker for the university’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Week celebration. SSU’s QEP is known as The Write Attitude, a campus –wide initiative to enhance student learning by improving attitudes about writing.