HPL Quarterly

Houston Public Library Quarterly Author Series, highlighting a notable book each season, presents

A Good Cry with Nikki Giovanni

Thursday, February 15 | 7:30 PM
Cullen Performance Hall
4300 University Drive | 77204

The HPLQ event with Nikki Giovanni University of Houston Cullen Performance Hall was absolutely amazing! We had record breaking attendance with a full house to see and hear the charismatic and inspiring poet.

Thank you so much for attending and please provide us with your feedback on the HPLQ event.

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Would you like to see Nikki's riveting presentation again? We have the entire broadcast on the HPL YouTube channel!

For over thirty years NIKKI GIOVANNI has held a unique place on the American stage.  A poet, activist, and educator, her fiery, humorous and reflective voice has informed our national consciousness; while her gifts of spirit as healer, sage, and comforting friend have charmed our hearts. 

Her 2013 collection Chasing Utopia was a literal hybrid of sentiment, which found the poet reflecting on everything from the sensual pleasures of food to the legacy of President Lincoln, and the future of the nation. With A GOOD CRY: What We Learn from Tears and Laughter, Giovanni returns with what may be her most intimate collection. She reveals the joy and peril of aging, and pays tribute to the poets, thinkers and students that hold court inside her mind and heart including her good friend Maya Angelou, and the many years of friendship, poetry, and kitchen-table laughter they shared before Angelou's death in 2014. 

Nikki Giovanni has been an activist and integral figure of the Black Arts Movement of the early 1970s.  She re-established the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a defining institution of the Civil Rights era, at Fisk University in 1965. Cherished and revered by younger generations, in 2016 she appeared as a special guest of the Afro Punk Festival, and has become an icon of the hip-hop community for her early poetic recordings. In A GOOD CRY Nikki Giovanni demonstrates that she is as energetic and relevant as ever, with a deeply personal and moving collection of poems.


A poet, activist, mother, and professor, Nikki Giovanni was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. Over the span of thirty years, she has received nineteen honorary degrees from colleges and universities; numerous achievement, humanitarian, and recognition awards from government, private, and public organizations, including Woman of the Year for Ebony, Mademoiselle, Essence, and Ladies Home Journal magazines.  She has also been awarded YWCA Woman of the Year; the Outstanding Woman of Tennessee Award; an Ohio Womens Hall of Fame induction; Outstanding Humanitarian Award from The House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Kentucky; two Tennessee Governors Award in the Arts and in the Humanities; the Virginia Governors Award; Caldecott Honors for Rosa; and seven NAACP Image Awards. She was also the first recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award.

The author of twenty-seven books, Nikki is a University Distinguished Professor of English at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. She continues to read her work across the country. 

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