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A Good Cry: What We Learn From Tears and Laughter

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  862 ratings  ·  171 reviews
One of America’s most celebrated poets looks inward in this powerful collection, a rumination on her life and the people who have shaped her.

The poetry of Nikki Giovanni has spurred movements, turned hearts and informed generations. She’s been hailed as a firebrand, a radical, a healer, and a sage; a wise and courageous voice who has spoken out on the sensitive issues, inc
Hardcover, 111 pages
Published October 24th 2017 by William Morrow
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  862 ratings  ·  171 reviews

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Bree Hill
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nikki Giovanni is a master at making ordinary life..making breakfast, walking down the street seem so beautiful. This collection of poetry was such an insightful look into her life. My heart broke learning of her parents and their relationship..but I was filled with so much joy and gratitude for her grandparents. Reading this as a lover of Her, I just want to reach out and thank all of the people in her life she loves lol and thank them for helping mold her into the woman she is who puts this be ...more
I read poetry, or I should say I prefer to listen to poetry, particularly if read by the author. But I rarely write a review as I am unsure how to go about it. February is Black History Month. In honor of this I chose to read this book of poems by Giovanni.

This book covers a variety of love poems: love of a women for a man, a parent for a child, a child for a parent, for grandparents, food, words and learning. Some of the poems also cover the Civil Rights Era. The first part of the book is poems
Alicia (PrettyBrownEyeReader)
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, poetry
Another fabulous collection of poems and short essays. She pays homage to many people including Maya Angelou and Afeni Shakur.
chantel nouseforaname
I loved all the pieces dedicated to legendary, literary, contributors to black excellence from Claudia Whitworth and Rita Dove to Maya Angelou. Giovanni is a legendary contributor to black excellence herself and I love to see all the love and praises passed around!

But just as much love and praise that she shines on the contributions of great writers; there's also a pain expressed regarding topics of neglect, domestic abuse and intimate partner violence at a few spots in this work that stood out
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is another one that I read through very quickly just to get a feel for the rhythm of the writing even though I knew it would be a phenomenal read. Now I'm just reveling in the life of Giovanni. Of course, I'll purchase my own copy, that's a must. ...more
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh how beautiful the section dedicated to Maya. I smiled and touched my hand to my heart with love and watched the scene of these wonderful sister friends cook, eat, drink laugh and tell wonderful stories. Oh to have been a fly on that lucky wall. I truly treasure her simplistic straight no chaser poems to her short heart felt essays. Enjoyed it. On to the next Nikki G book, Acolytes.
Jill Mackin
Oct 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poet, poetry, poets
Lovely collection of poetry. The poems dedicated to Maya Angelou are absolutely beautiful.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love Nikki Giovanni, and there were some poems that really resonated with me, but the collection on the whole fell a little flat in my heart. That said, the beautiful thing about poetry (and a smattering of prose, in this case) is that I may read it again in the future, under different circumstances, and with brand new eyes, and it might speak to me then. I would certainly give it another go down the line. 3.5 stars, rounded up for the 10 or so works that I found memorable.

Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a GreatRead! I love the way she pays Homage to Others, So cool!
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this whole time i thought i hated poetry when the reality of the situation was i’d never read nikki giovanni
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bipoc-books, poetry
A beautiful book of poetry. Some very touching dedications, like those to Maya Angelou. This was a quick but heartfelt read and I really enjoyed it.
Meghan Burke
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Strongly recommend an audio “read” if available. Hearing these poems on love, rural life, race, parents, friends, the academy, and more, in her voice, made it a pleasure. Thanks, local library!
Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Savory morsels of poetry from one of my favorites.
Chris Roberts
Nov 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Reach starry desolation heights,
if writing is a religion and you are an acolyte,
lay down a devotion, a reverie - a breath.

To pick-up this collection, weep that it is dust.

Chris Roberts, God Today
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tops

I loved that she spoke on Tupac. I loved that she paused, laughed and even had moments of reverence in this book of poetry. I enjoyed it as I have enjoyed all of the books that Auntie Nikki has written. 💚💚💚
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
A stew, a hash, a scramble of praise-poems, memories, moments of looking forward and back. Very straight-forward, and warm, Giovanni faces her own age in a practical, hopeful way. She's inspiring. ...more
Rogene Carter
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, accounts
The best collection that I have read by Giovanni to date.
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
April is National Poetry Month!

Nikki Giovanni makes you laugh, cry, reminisce, explore, raise your fist, crave food, and libations. She pays homage to what was, what is, and what will be - honoring everyday men and women as well as titans of industry in arts, music, and politics. Nikki delves into aging, sickness, domestic violence she witnessed as a child, her beautiful grandparents, and the healing effects of crying. She reveals so much about herself in this volume.

Favorite poems: “Baby Wes
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
4.5 stars

I truly adored this collection of poems. Nikki Giovanni has this rare ability to beautifully construct poems on subjects we typically take for granted, such as sliced bread and butter. She covers a wide range of topics in this collection, ranging from her childhood, Virginia Tech, Black Lives Matter, education, and her friendships, particularly with Maya Angelou.

There were three topics that stood out to me in this collection: Her childhood and living with an abusive father, the distinct
Tyler Julian
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“...and most especially
I’m proud
Black Lives Matter

We Do

We honestly
Do” (from “Black Lives Matter (Not a Hashtag)”)

Not only is reading this joy-filled collection timely, but it is also a powerful look back at the last 50+ years of the Black experience in America, as seen through the eyes of a woman who has recorded it diligently since the 1960s. These pages are filled with challenge and promise, human moments and deep reflections. Giovanni humanizes larger than life historical figures with fr
Harper Miller
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book of poetry is a little over 100 pages and a quick read, but I didn’t want it to be a quick read. I took my time because I wanted to savor this gem. Nikki Giovanni has a brilliant relationship with words. She captures nostalgia, heartache, and friendship so wonderfully. Stand out pieces for me: Space: Our Frontier, Nikki Giovanni: A Look at the Development of this Small Business, The Past ... The Present ... The Future, Black Lives Matter (Not A Hashtag) and so many more.

I adored this v
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
"We recognized you cannot be anti-abortion while supporting Capital Punishment; By what right must I birth him that you put him in the electric chair; Or in prison for life for a crime he did not commit"

I borrowed this from my local library on a whim; and I'm so glad that I did. I don't read much poetry anymore let alone poetry that doesn't rhyme (don't judge me); but Nikki Giovanni's collection, A Good Cry, confirmed that I need to include books of poetry in my reading selections going forward.
Nancy Hirstein Smith
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is my first book of poetry I’ve read cover to cover. It was an intimate story of how trauma in the poet’s life shut down the part of her that could cry, a status she be cried. She learned to weep - with grief - after the death of her great friend, Maya Angelou.

In this, except for the nature of the trauma, we are alike.

This collection is also humbling in how few people, historical figures she called out I recognized without looking them up.

A great first choice - poetic, relatable, impressi
Bethany Loper
Mar 25, 2020 rated it liked it
I started this collection off feeling terrible that I could not get in to it...I wanted to so badly because its Nikki Giovanni! A name that holds so much weight and power in the poetry community. I'm glad I spent more time with it. I read some of the pieces out loud and they started speaking back to me. Then, I watched her perform pieces from the book on YouTube and now I feel it right where I'm supposed to. Words from the soul 💗 3.5 stars. ...more
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult, book-club
I just am not a fan of poetry. There, I said it. I can appreciate this book for the emotions it stirs in its reader and from where they come via different events in the author's life. But, I just can't find it in me to enjoy poetry as a writing format. I look forward to hearing Nikki speak in a few days so I can feel the connection she has to her work because that I can absolutely appreciate. ...more
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not what I had expected from the description. I marked it as 4 stars because there are some beautifully moving and poignant poems within. However, from expectation of the description to reality, I would give it a 2-3 star rating. This short book is filled with poems and some very short stories.
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I like this one a lot better than Chasing Utopia. I love the poem about A look at the development of this small business. Very clever.
A quick read and a nice way to be introduced to the author’s work / writing style. Definitely would like to read more!
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I love Nikki Giovanni, and this small collection of her work is wonderful.
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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

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