This omnibus covers Nikki Giovanni's complete work of poetry from 1967–1983. THE COLLECTED POETRY OF NIKKI GIOVANNI will include the complete volumes of five adult books of poetry: Black Feeling Black Talk/Black Judgement, My House, The Women and the Men, Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day, and Those Who Ride the Night Winds.
Nikki self–published her first book Black Feeling, Black Talk/BlackJudgement in 1969, selling 10,000 copies; William Morrow published in 1970. Know for its iconic revolutionary phrases, it is heralded as one of the most important volumes of modern African–American poetry and is considered the seminal volume of Nikki's body of work.
My House (Morrow 1972) marks a new dimension in tone and philosphy––This is Giovanni's first foray into the autobiographical.
In The Women and the Men (Morrow 1975), Nikki displays her compassion for the people, things and places she has encountered––She reveres the ordinary and is in search of the extraordinary.
Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day (Morrow 1978) is one of the most poignant and introspective of all Giovanni's collections. These poems chronicle the drastic change that took place during the 1970s––when the dreams of the Civil Rights era seemed to have evaporated.
Those Who Ride the Night Winds (Morrow 1983) is devoted to "the day trippers and midnight cowboys," the ones who have devoted their lives to pushing the limits of the human condition and shattered the constraints of the stautus quo.
With the initially self-published Black Feeling Black Talk (1968) and the same year's Black Judgment, the then 25-year-old Giovanni helped take the Black Arts Movement to national prominence, including TV appearances, a top-selling spoken-word LP, and nine books (counting interviews and anthologies) in the next six years. Giovanni's fiery yet personal early voice struck many listeners as the authentic sound of black militancy: "This is a crazy country," one poem explained, "But we can't be Black/ And not be crazy"; "White degrees do not qualify negroes to run/ The Black Revolution." The '70s saw Giovanni move toward more personal or private concerns: "touching was and still is and will always be the true/ revolution," she concluded in 1972, suggesting a few years later "We gulp when we realize/ There are few choices in life/ That are clear." This volume compiles not all Giovanni's poems but those of her first seven volumes, from Black Feeling to Those Who Ride the Night Winds (1983), which introduced her later "lineless" style ("This is not a poem... this is hot chocolate at the beginning of spring"). Her outspoken advocacy, her consciousness of roots in oral traditions, and her charismatic delivery place her among the forebearers of present-day slam and spoken-word scenes. Virginia C. Fowler provides an ample and diligent introduction, chronology and notes to individual works. Giovanni's planned reading tour for 2003-2004 includes the Javits Center in Manhattan and convention centers in D.C., Philadelphia and Miami-one sign of her unusually large fan base. (Dec.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.