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Nikki Giovanni: Criticism and Reviews

The African American Literature Book Club reviews several of Giovanni's books.

This essay on Nikki Giovanni is presented by a student in Tennessee and includes a brief biography and interview with Giovanni.

The National Council of Teachers of English features another student's essay, which includes information about Giovanni's work and a review of Gemini: An Extended Autobiographical Statement on My First Twenty-Five Years of Being a Black Poet.

Voices From the Gaps - Women Writers of Color features a biography of Nikki Giovanni and criticism of her works.

Writers Writer, the Internet Writing Journal has an article titled "The Authority of a Writer," which is an interview with Nikki Giovanni in which she talks about her work.

Deferred Dreams: The Voice of African American Women's Poetry Since the 1970s is an article by American Studies Today Online.

Nikki Giovanni is featured in an article by Sally Harris in Virginia Tech Magazine, Volume 12, Number 2, Fall 1990.

Additional criticism and review of Nikki Giovanni's works can be found at your local public library.

The following reviews can be accessed online only by an individual who has a current library card through this address.

Dynamite Voices I: Black Poets of the 1960's.
Critic: Don Lee.
Dynamite Voices I: Black Poets of the 1960's, Broadside Press, 1971, pp. 68-74.

"Nikki Giovanni has published two thin volumes of poetry, Black Feeling, Black Talk and Black Judgment, which reflect her awareness of the values of Black culture as well as her commitment to the revolution…."

A Sweet Inspiration...of My People: The Poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks and Nikki Giovanni.
Critic: Suzanne Juhasz.
Naked and Fiery Forms: Modern American Poetry by Women, A New Tradition, Harper Colophon Books, 1976, pp. 144-76.

"(Nikki Giovanni) comes to her art knowing that she is as female as she is black and that somehow she must, in her own life and art, express how these aspects of herself come together and define her…"

Gemini: An Extended Autobiographical Statement on My First Twenty-Five Years of Being a Black Poet.
Critic: June Jordan.
The New York Times Book Review, February 13, 1972, pp. 6, 26.

In her review, Jordan "compares Gemini to autobiographical works by other black Americans."

"New Black Poetry: A Double-Edged Sword."
Critic: Bernard W. Bell.
CLA Journal, Vol. XV, No. 1, September, 1971, pp. 37-43.

In his essay, "Bell analyzes African-American poetry, discussing its influences and its agenda."

"A Tree Grows in Print."
Critic: Nancy Rosenberg.
New York Times Book Review, May 5, 1974, p. 38.

In her review, "Rosenberg praises Giovanni's style and skill in Ego-Tripping."

"My House."
Critic: Stephanie J. Stokes.
Essence, Vol. 12, No. 4, August, 1981, pp. 84-8.

In this essay, which is based on an interview with Nikki Giovanni, "Stokes remarks on Giovanni's home and family."

"Unedibles."
Critic: Don McDermott.
Cimarron Review, Vol. 83, April, 1988, pp. 94-5.

In the his review of Sacred Cows… and Other Edibles, "McDermott criticizes Giovanni's monotony and lack of wit."

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