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Nikki Giovanni Biography | Author of Knoxville, Tennesee

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Giovanni was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1943, but she grew up in Lincoln Heights, Ohio, a predominantly black community. Her happy childhood, spent partly with her grandparents in Tennessee, became a major theme of her poetry. "Nikki Rosa," which recounts Giovanni's contented childhood, is often considered her signature poem. Giovanni received her bachelor's degree in history from Fisk University in 1967. While at Fisk, Giovanni was strongly influenced by a creative writing workshop taught by novelist John Oliver Killens. She also rejected her formerly conservative views in favor of the radicalism she encountered in fellow classmates. Black Judgement and Black Feeling, Black Talk, her first two volumes of poetry, reflect the anger and enthusiasm of the community of writers and political activists with whom Giovanni became involved. Adopting a revolutionary stance, Giovanni advocated open violence and expressed her impatience for change. In 1969, Giovanni took a teaching position at Rutgers...

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This section contains 265 words
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Buy the Knoxville, Tennesee Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Knoxville, Tennesee from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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