Acclaimed author and poet Nikki Giovanni to speak at Colgate

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Colgate University will honor Martin Luther King Jr. during a two-week celebration, January 21–February 3, 2019. The commemoration is sponsored by the ALANA Cultural Center and the Bicentennial committee.

Acclaimed author Nikki Giovanni will deliver the keynote address on January 31 at 7 p.m. in Love Auditorium. A full list of additional events can be found at

The author of some 30 books for both adults and children, Giovanni is a university distinguished professor at Virginia Tech.

Giovanni graduated with honors from Fisk University in 1968 before attending the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. She published her first book of poetry, Black Feeling Black Talk, in 1968.

Many of Giovanni’s books have received honors and awards. Her autobiography, Gemini, was a finalist for the National Book Award; Love Poems, Blues: For All the Changes, and Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea were all honored with NAACP Image Awards. Blues: For All the Changes reached No. 4 on the Los Angeles Times Best-Seller list. Most recently, her children’s picture book Rosa, about the civil rights legend Rosa Parks, became a Caldecott Honors Book, reaching No. 3 on the New York Times Best-Seller list.

Giovanni’s spoken word album, Truth Is On Its Way, was a top-100 album and received the Best Spoken Word Album given by the National Association of Radio and Television Announcers. Her Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection was one of five finalists for a Grammy Award.

The recipient of some 25 honorary degrees, Giovanni has been named Woman of the Year by Mademoiselle Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, and Ebony Magazine. She was tapped for the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame and named an Outstanding Woman of Tennessee. Giovanni has also received Governor’s Awards from both Tennessee and Virginia. She was the first recipient of the Rosa L. Parks Woman of Courage Award, and she has also been awarded the Langston Hughes Medal for poetry. She is an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and has received Life Membership and Scroll from The National Council of Negro Women. A member of PEN, she was honored for her life and career by The History Makers. She has received the keys to more than two dozen cities, and she is the recipient of Virginia Tech’s highest honor, the Alumni Outreach Award.

This event is free and open to the public but seating is limited. Please register here.