An Evening with Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni's author photo for "A Good Cry"

December 3, 2017, 7 pm
City Opera House, Traverse City
Guest host: Fleda Brown

Doors open at 6 pm with live music, cash bar and Morsels sweet treats. Q & A and book signing post event.


Ticketing: Call  231-941-8082, ext. 201 (M-F, 10 am to 5 pm), stop by the City Opera House Box Office located at 106 E. Front Street in downtown Traverse City, Michigan, or buy online.  The City Opera House charges additional ticket fees based on how tickets are purchased. For more information, go here.

Online: General online ticketing begins August 11th!

Admission: $15.50/Reserved seats $25.50/Premium Reserved seats (plus ticket fees)
Student Tickets:   $5.50 plus ticket fees

Hardcover book: A Good Cry is 20% off at Horizon Books. Release date: October 24, 2017.

Want to become a Friend and support NWS? Call the City Opera House or join by donating here. 


ABOUT AUTHOR NIKKI GIOVANNI

Giovanni is a poet, activist, mother and professor.

An American icon and an Oprah “Living Legend” Nikki Giovanni’s poetry has spurred movements and inspired songs, turned hearts and informed generations. Frequently anthologized, Giovanni’s poetry expresses strong racial pride and respect for family. Her informal style makes her work accessible to both adults and children. “I come from a long line of storytellers,” said Giovanni in an interview, gaining her appreciation for her African-American heritage from her outspoken grandmother. Her early exposure to the power of spoken language has influenced Giovanni’s career as a poet, particularly in her propensity towards colloquial speech.

AGoodCry_HCWith A GOOD CRY: What We Learn from Tears and Laughter (release date October 24) Nikki Giovanni returns to NWS with what may be her most intimate collection, recalling the violence that permeated her parents’ marriage and her early life, and how she came to live with the grandparents whom she credits with saving her life.  She also 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.   

Giovanni is the author of 27 books and the recipient of seemingly countless honors and awards including a Grammy nominee for The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection. Several magazines have named her Woman of the Year, including Essence, Mademoiselle, Ebony, and Ladies Home Journal.

In addition to collections such as Re: Creation (1970), Love Poems (1997), and The Collected Poems of Nikki Giovanni (2003), Giovanni has published several works of nonfiction, children’s literature and recordings.

Her new collection Chasing Utopia: The Hybrid is her first in four years.

Between 1970 and 2003, she received nearly one hundred awards and honors, as well as nineteen honorary degrees. She has been given keys to more than a dozen cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, and New Orleans. Since 1987, she has been on the faculty at Virginia Tech, where she is a University Distinguished Professor.

Honors and Recognitions

  • Black Caucus of the ALA Honor Award for Nonfiction
  • An Oprah “Living Legend” Seven NAACP Awards
  • Governor’s Awards from both Tennessee and Virginia. National Book Award nominee (1973)
  • Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Dedication and Commitment to
  • Service (2009)
  • 2001 First recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award (again in
  • 2002)
  • 1999 she was one of fourteen living writers inducted into The Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent
  • Langston Hughes award for Distinguished Contributions to Arts and Letters
  • (1996)
  • Named “Woman of the Year” by Ebony Magazine (1971), Mademoiselle
  • Magazine (1972), and Ladies Home Journal (1973) Caldecott Honor Book for Rosa (2006)

The National Council of Negro Women Appreciation Award (2007) American Book Award honoring outstanding literary achievement from the diverse spectrum of the American literary community. (2008)


ABOUT GUEST HOST FLEDA BROWN

Guest host Fleda Brown is a poet, author, teacher, and essayist. Her nine poetry collections include this year’s The Woods Are On Fire: New & Selected Poems. Her memoir, Driving With Dvorak, was published in 2010 by the University of Nebraska Press. She also wrote My Wobbly Bicycle; Meditations on Cancer and the Creative Life, a real-time account of her cancer diagnosis, chemo and radiation, from the doctor’s phone call to the one-year, all-clear pronouncement.

Fleda BrownBrown earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Arkansas, and in 1978 she joined the faculty of the University of Delaware, where she founded the Poets in the Schools Program. Brown’s work has twice appeared in The Best American Poetry. Poet laureate of Delaware from 2001–2007, her books, essays, and poems have won many awards including a Pushcart Prize, the Felix Pollak Prize, the Philip Levine Prize, and the Great Lakes Colleges New Writer’s Award.

Brown currently teaches on the faculty of the Rainier Writing Workshop, a low-residency MFA program in Tacoma, Washington. She lives with her husband, Jerry Beasley, in Traverse City, where she writes a monthly poetry column for the Record Eagle and is a poetry commentator on Interlochen Public Radio’s Michigan Writers on the Air program.