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The Selected Poems of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1995 Hardcover – January 11, 1996

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the late 1960s, Giovanni emerged as one of the youngest and most controversial poets of the Black Arts Movement. She would go on to broaden her influence as an essayist, teacher, lecturer and activist. The poetry collected in this volume is arranged chronologically, gathering work from her first book, Black Feeling Black Talk (1968) to the present. The poems touch on themes and events of the last four decades of the nation's history. "His headstone said/ FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST/ But death is a slave's freedom/ We seek the freedom of free men/ And the construction of a world/ Where Martin Luther King could have lived/ and preached non-violence" is "The Funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr" in its entirety. Giovanni's work is also deeply subjective: "I wrote a good omelet ...and ate a hot poem.../ after loving you." Springing from a strong commitment to African and African-American oral tradition, her voice is fierce, resilient, often celebratory and rooted in the vernacular of her community, whether she speaks as African American, woman, mother, writer or lover.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

One of the most popular and influential poets of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Giovanni was raised in Knoxville and Cincinnati but made a name for herself in New York City by drawing a standing-room-only crowd to her first poetry reading at the jazz club Birdland in 1969. A genius at self-promotion whose work struck a responsive chord with blacks and whites, she was able to sell 10,000 copies of her first book, Black Feeling, Black Talk (1968)?a self-published volume?in less than a year. She has been, at times, a controversial political figure?she opposed the boycott of South Africa during the 1980s, for instance?and has continued to make a name for herself with public and TV appearances, numerous volumes of poetry, prose, and children's verse, and as a teacher and doyenne of the literary world. Her distinctive lower-case "I" ("sometimes/ when i wake up/ in the morning/ and see all the faces/ i just can't/ breathe") is a recognizable trademark, and her poems have been a potent force for young and old. For most collections.?Ellen Kaufman, Gallery Lib., Smithsonian Inst., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (January 11, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688140475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688140472
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Happily, Maya Angelou isn't the only Black female to grace modern poetry's stage. Nikki Giovanni speaks with a voice informed by her multiple roles as Black woman, lover, mother, teacher, and poet. This collection of 150 poems is arranged chronologically and covers her work from 1968 to the present. Who knows? Maybe the next president will ask Giovanni to compose his inaugural poem! Be sure to check out two other compelling collections: "And Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou and "Selected Poems" by Rita Dove, America's Poet Laureate
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By A Customer on February 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I've never really been into poetry, but decided to "broaden my horizons." I enjoyed this work very much. It was so real; so fresh; so true to me. I had always heard about Nikki Giovanni's writing, and now I'm sold...on her and on poetry.
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Format: Hardcover
Through a mandatory school project, I was introduced to one of the most prolific and true-to-life literary legends. Giovanni's work is the purest translation of real life into written word that I have ever read. Easily one of my favorite writers
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought it as part of a anniversary gift for my wife, she enjoys this author and I was glad to find it at a reasonable rate, was a little disappointed in the outter condition of the book and a few of the pages but overall it arrived on time and my wife loved it with out a question..
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