Today, I would like to send a birthday shout out to poet Nikki Giovanni!
For those of you who are not familiar with her, this hip U.S. wordsmith writes poetry for both adults and children.
Giovanni has also served as editor on various children's poetry collections. She edited Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat (2008) and served as an advisory editor (along with poets Billy Collins and X.J. Kennedy) on Poetry Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat (2008).
Since there is no greater poetic experience than to hear a poet read his/her work, I encourage you to visit the following sites to hear Giovanni perform two of her poems.
Click here to listen to a short interview with Giovanni and her reading of her poem "So Enchanted with You" on the Poetry Foundation website. This poem is from her book "Bicycles: Love Poems" (2009)
Click here to listen to Giovanni recite her poem "All Eyes on Him" which she penned as a tribute to the late recording artist Tupac Shakur (1971-1996).
Here are three tidbits of trivia about Ms. Giovanni:
*Giovanni is a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia which was the site of a tragic shooting in 2007. She composed a chant-poem which she read at the memorial service held on the day after the incident.
*The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection, which features her reading and talking about her poetry, was one of five Grammy Award finalists.
*The bat species, Micronycteris giovanniae, is named in her honour.
Visit her website to learn more about the poet and her work.