Nikki Giovanni (June 7, 1943) is an American poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator.
- History is wonderful. We have so much we can learn if we would quit making ideology out of history, and just deal with what happened…
- On writing without historical references in “NIKKI GIOVANNI: INTERVIEW” in Mosaic Magazine (2008 Aug 1)
- Politics is personal. That, however, doesn’t mean it’s ideological. It means that one cares about what she or he is doing, what he or she is writing…
- On the politics seeping into the personal in “NIKKI GIOVANNI: INTERVIEW” in Mosaic Magazine (2008 Aug 1)
- As a writer, one has to be willing to be wrong, willing to make mistakes. I’ve put everything on the table and accepted the fact that I may come up short. And, if (or when) I do, that’s okay.
- On accepting fault as a writer in “NIKKI GIOVANNI: INTERVIEW” in Mosaic Magazine (2008 Aug 1)
- Poets shouldn't commit suicide. That would leave the world to those without imaginations or hearts. That would bequeath to the world a mangled syntax and no love of champagne. Poets must live in misery and ecstasy, to sing a song with the katydids. Poets should be ashamed to die before they kiss the sun.
- On her poem “Poets” in “Poet Nikki Giovanni On The Darker Side Of Her Life” in NPR (2013 Oct 29)
- You have to read the poem and say, “My god, that’s a good poem,” and kind of smile at yourself. If you’re not willing to do that, then you’re wasting your time, and you’re hurting yourself in another way because you’re trying to please somebody who doesn’t like you. You don’t want to get in that position.
- On poets having to trust themselves in “Nikki Giovanni on trusting your own voice”] in The Creative Independent (2017 Apr 24)