Giovanni appearance for Library Week observance moved

National Library Week will be celebrated on the Grambling State University campus next week, April 17 – 23.

Highlighting a full slate of activities will be an appearance by renowned poet Nikki Giovanni. A reception and book signing will be held Thursday, April 21 in T.H. Harris Auditorium. The event, which was originally scheduled to be held in the GSU School of Nursing Auditorium had to be moved to the larger venue because of high ticket demand.

The event is free. Call (318) 274-3354 for more information.

Born Yolande Cornelia Giovanni, Jr., in Knoxville, Tenn., Giovanni is also a highly regarded writer, commentator, activist, and educator.

Over the past 30 years, her outspokenness, in her writing and in person, has brought the eyes of the world upon her. One of the most widely read American poets, she prides herself on being “a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English.”

Giovanni remains as determined and committed as ever to the fight for civil rights and equality. Always insisting on presenting the truth as she, sees it, she has maintained a prominent place as a strong voice of the Black community. Her focus is on the individual, specifically, on the power one has to make a difference in oneself, and thus, in the lives of others.

Giovanni has written more than two dozen books, including volumes of poetry, illustrated children’s books and three collections of essays.

Her book, Racism 101, includes bold, controversial essays about the situation of Americans on all sides of various race issues.

She has received 21 honorary doctorates and a host of other awards, including “Woman of the Year” awards from three different magazines as well as Governors’ Awards in the Arts from Tennessee and Virginia.

Her three most recent volumes of poetry, Love Poems, Blues: For All the Changes and Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea, were winners of the NAACP Image Award, in 1998, 2000 and 2003.

Since 1987, she has taught writing and literature at Virginia Tech, where she is a University Distinguished Professor. As a devoted and passionate writer, teacher, and speaker, she inspires not only her students, but also readers and audiences nationwide.

The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection, a spoken-word CD, was a finalist for the 2003 Grammy Award in the category of spoken word.

The celebration will begin Monday with poetry readings from students, faculty and staff from 10 a.m. until noon in the lobby of A.C. Lewis Memorial Library.

On Tuesday, the library will host an open house during which there will be previews of new resources and services.

The week culminates with Friday designated as Free Fine and T-Shirt Day. Those with overdue library books may return them on this day without having to pay fines.

Exhibits will be displayed throughout the week in the library.

For information about Library Week activities, call Dr. Rosemary Mokia at (318) 274-6122 /3354.