Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni” as Want to Read:
The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni

4.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,041 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
This omnibus covers Nikki Giovanni's complete work of poetry from 1967-1983. THE COLLECTED POETRY OF NIKKI GIOVANNI will include the complete volumes of five adult books of poetry: Black Feeling Black Talk/Black Judgement, My House, The Women and the Men, Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day, and Those Who Ride the Night Winds. Nikki self-published her first book Black Feeling, Bla ...more
ebook, 512 pages
Published December 30th 2008 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,196)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Larry Bassett
Sep 17, 2011 Larry Bassett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
If Giovanni is a new name to you, she is worth reading. The book begins in her angry Black Power days but she moves from the political to the personal over the years. But you never forget that she is Black. She is proud to be Black and angry and distressed with the discrimination faced by Blacks for so long. You will find the words Black, colored, Negro and nigger throughout, each with their own meaning . Her work is sensitizing and informing. There is also humor and attitude. She portrays herse ...more
Oct 11, 2011 Nathan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: franklin-library
Nikki Giovanni has always seemed to me to be the quintessential modern poet: her social concerns reflect the ubiquitous tensions of her time, her more introspective work is solidly in the tradition of modern navel gazers. For anyone who likes that oeuvre, this will be delightful. I found it tiresome. Giovanni's themes are worthwhile, of course, and none of my dislike of her poetry stems from her honest and relevant reflections on the issues of race and womanhood.

It stems from her voice, not what
Jun 28, 2010 Cheri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, poetry, read-in-2010
This selected works collection was my first introduction to Giovanni's poetry. When I began reading it, I wasn't really getting into it. I appreciated the significance of her early work in the context of the era it was written, but the pieces themselves from that time period are so vitriolic and focused on putting down all white people it seems that that is all they accomplish - being angry and pejorative; the form and the message are not very artful. What I loved about this selection, though, i ...more
Apr 14, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoying seeing the evolution of this famous poet, whom I got to meet recently. Wonderful poems about all sorts of topics from politics and history to love and family. Great voice, such a treasure. I really appreciated the notes in the back of the volume that explained who some of the poems were dedicated to and gave historical background for many of the events that Giovanni referenced.
Sala Bim
Nov 22, 2014 Sala Bim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I met Ms. Giovanni at a national conference once and she was kind enough to autograph my copy of this book for me. Amazingly prolific, frank, and insightful woman, and this wonderful and deft collection of her poetry justly reflects that. Inspiring!
Mar 23, 2015 Leeann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
an unforgettable collection of Black American poetry written by an unforgettable Black American woman.

there is nothing else to be said.
Nicole George
One of my favorite poets of all time. Don't just think because she has a cool name ;) The Real Miss Nikki G
Jamila Abdulrashid
This collection of poetry is a historical timeline of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960’s. Its lyrical content speaks to the conscience of a culture deeply rooted in revolution. It tells the notable struggle of a nation divided by civil rights. “The source of my work has always been black Americans. I am absolutely fascinated by what we are, and how we have conducted our business more than three hundred years in America.” (Giovanni, 2007). This is a great book for teachers of humanities to use ...more
May 08, 2009 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite possible my favorite poetry book of all time. Nikki Giovanni is amazing.
Pam Gary
Sep 21, 2012 Pam Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
She tells it like it is. Her choice and arrangement of words is superb.
I wanted to give myself the time and the space to write a review of this collection that would really do it justice, but, unlike Nikki Giovanni, I just don't have that gift of language, style, and form.

When I was in elementary school, I once memorized "Nikki-Rosa" for an oratorical contest. Since then I've read the occasional Nikki Giovanni poem or essay here and there, but I've never taken the time to sit and read through any of her poetry volumes. I'm so very happy that I finally did. My only
Aug 31, 2011 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Woah! My first experience with an NG poem was "Knoxville, Tennessee," a lighthearted descriptive poem. I had no idea she was a part of the black power movement. Many of the poems in this collection channel her frustrations and observations about the civil rights movement. After a while, a lot of those poems started to sound the same to me.

To me, where Giovanni shines is when she writes her imagism poems and her sweet love poems. Many of these poems have already been anthologized in textbooks for
May 18, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
A thorough and powerful collection.
Giovanni's poetry speaks with a voice of strength and clarity.
In her own words, "I like to think that if truth has any bearing on art, my poetry and prose is art because it's truthful". Indeed these poems are brimming with truth.
Apr 30, 2009 Tiffany rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a little biased about some of the poetry in this volume. As a teenage "poet" I was introduced to Nikki's work, being black, being female, it was almost important for me, with all those traits to read her as a writer. I liked "My House" and another one whose name escapes me (it's been 16 years). And all of those poems are included in this volume, but since the poems from the books I just mentioned were given to me by my Aunt, the Black Revolutionary (wouldn't know it by looking at her but sh ...more
Aug 13, 2014 Charmaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book of poetry I loved the poems she wrote to honor Rosa Parks, Tupac, Betty Shabazz and the Million Man March.
Doris Raines
This. Is. A. Brain. Storm. Poem. Thanks. Nikki. Doris.
Feb 03, 2008 Terrell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Within these pages one gets acquainted with one of our most influential poets ever. The poems here span thirty years from the 1960’s Black Arts Movement, through the civil right movement to the present mother. Giovanni’s work is refreshing, partly because she doesn’t write about her black experience with the fierceness that is often associated with blacks whom participated in the Civil Rights Movement. It is refreshing to read works that touch on the subject of race, by a black who seemingly doe ...more
Feb 01, 2008 Hector rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Hector by: no one, I was curious
It is a good book but contains some poetry even I wouldn't publish. This is the first of her books that have I read and probably the last. I feel she is a bit overrated and probably dated.

Many of these people from academia get published simply because they teach at a major university. Some of our greatest writers, like Walt Whitman, didn't have much formal education. Whitman left school at the age of twelve.

I believe that if you want to read great poetry, often you must look for those people w
Kenneth Jenkins
Aug 13, 2015 Kenneth Jenkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful read from a wonderful poet.
Nikki Giovanni is that aunt who knows things, who you love to visit because she gets you, and will tell you things that you remember, and understand years later in a poof of clarity.

I've loved her poetry and prose for years, and I bought this while browsing the bookstore and no one had told me that she had a book out. Sure, it's missing some of her later work, particularly the Virginia Tech stuff, and the cutoff of 1998 is...weird, but this is a great compendium of the stuff she was writing to
Michelle Cristiani
Feb 28, 2014 Michelle Cristiani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Honest, straightforward, genuine.
Jun 13, 2015 Jose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great poet true fun and vital
Nov 12, 2011 Maddy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Essence Michelle
This book may possibly be one of my new favorites! Not only because in my personal opinion, Nikki Giovanni is one of the greatest poets ever, but because her words are filled with the most anger and joy and rhythm that can go into words. Also, i always enjoy her awareness of race but never separation of races. It takes a lot to put your soul into a poem and after reading this collection of about three hundred, I fell as if i was not once deprived of anything she had to offer.
Feb 12, 2009 jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, feminist
I don't like all of Nikki Giovanni's poetry, but there are certain pieces that are great. I got my copy signed at a reading Giovanni did at the library my mom works at. There was a woman in line behind me to meet Giovanni who found her favorite poem in the world in my copy of the collected poems to show me. So I ripped out that page and gave it to her to get signed. I recopied that poem into the back of my book, so I still have it; I wonder what that lady did with her copy.
May 15, 2013 Yasmin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing poet, this is my first book of poems by Nikki Giovanni. From 1968 to 1998 the poems are still bursting with freshness and vitality 15 years later from the last section of poems. I'm so very glad I picked up this book from the library and look forward very much to adding her poetry books to my library. Truly she has become a favourite poet of mine.
Drew Hoffman
Mar 06, 2014 Drew Hoffman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Collected Poetry, 1968-1998" is a fine representation of a life lived as a revolutionary. Giovanni's potent voice shows off its range here, from the anger and frustration of her early work to the more mellowly elegaic later poems-- the poet's personal evolution is acid-etched and beautiful, the song of a true rebel.
Mar 17, 2008 sydney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nikki Giovanni is amazing. Her poems bite.

I didn't like the section where the poems had ellipses instead of line breaks. My brain couldn't handle it.

This is a great book to keep lying around and open up when you need a jolt of inspiration.
Sep 02, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, owned
Andrew bought this lovely book for me for Christmas one year. Such an overwhelming block of Nikki all at once! I really must read this again, but slower. Maybe one collection at a time so that they might be more distinct in my mind.
Jul 20, 2009 Mariana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nikki Giovanni gave a reading on July 3 when I was at Virginia Tech for a Quaker Gathering and I met her. Her poetry is angry, wise and inspired. This book chronicles thirty key years of U.S. history.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 73 74 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Shake Loose My Skin: New and Selected Poems
  • The Moments, the Minutes, the Hours: The Poetry of Jill Scott
  • Head Off & Split
  • Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology
  • Directed by Desire: The Collected Poems
  • The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010
  • Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth: New Poems
  • The Collected Poems
  • Black Girl in Paris
  • Selected Poems
  • The Black Poets
  • Given Sugar, Given Salt
  • The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey
  • Of One Blood: Or, the Hidden Self: The Givens Collection
  • Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-American Feminist Thought
  • The Complete Collected Poems
  • Daughters of the Dust: The Making of an African American Woman's Film
  • Migration: New and Selected Poems
Yolande Cornelia "Nikki" Giovanni is a Grammy-nominated American poet, activist and author. She has written numerous volumes of poetry and has been honored with loads of awards, including 20 honorary degrees from national colleges and universities. Her poems are undeniably authentic distillations of black life in America. She was editor of Fisk University's literary magazine. She lives in Blacksbu ...more
More about Nikki Giovanni...

Share This Book

“i hope i die
by the life that i tried
to live”
“And you will understand all too soon
That you, my children of battle, are your heroes”
More quotes…