Miami Book Fair: Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni was once known as the princess of black poetry, but nowadays she shares the queendom with the likes of Maya Angelou. Bold, forthright and sharp, Giovanni has paved the way for new generations of young black poets, she celebrated hip hop and recognized its power before many of her peers did. Nikki Giovanni fought and won her battle with breast cancer and came out with an unabashedly blond hairdo for her struggles, and when her students and peers at Virginia Tech needed an unwavering voice in the face of unspeakable grief, she rose to the occasion.

The morning after a most auspicious election, New Times was lucky enough to speak with the acclaimed poet about politics, hair, and her latest book Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat, which features the lyrics of Kanye West, Mos Def, Queen Latifah, and The Sugar Hill Gang all presented with the kind of art we'd be proud to hang on our walls.

Click below to listen to a conversation with Nikki Giovanni. Visit for a complete schedule of authors appearing at this weekend's street fair.

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-- Patrice Yursik

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