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Make Me Rain: Poems & Prose

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  288 ratings  ·  91 reviews
One of America’s most celebrated poets challenges us with this powerful and deeply personal collection of verse that speaks to the injustices of society while illuminating the depths of her own heart.

For more than thirty years, Nikki Giovanni’s poetry has inspired, enlightened, and dazzled readers. As sharp and outspoken as ever, this artist long hailed as a healer and a s
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published October 20th 2020 by William Morrow
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  288 ratings  ·  91 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nfr-2020
Thoughts soon.
Kerry (lines i underline)
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is the first poetry and prose collection I’ve read cover to cover in quite some time. And it’s my first book by Giovanni, though I’ve admired her poems in the past.

This is the kind of poetry I enjoy most of all - where it feels like the poet is speaking to you in a way that is profound but also accessible. There is such warmth in Giovanni’s style.

She writes about family, her Black roots and history, racism and resistance, childhood memories, getting old, food, hope, joy, injustice, grief.

Jen Bracken-Hull
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I wonder if she’ll ever write a book if poetry I don’t love. I love how she writes about food, about her grandparents, about what she’s learned, about what needs fixing.
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This beautifully written collection of poetry and prose is classic Giovanni. Touching on topics ranging from aging, to memories of childhood, to elegies for loved ones who have passed, to pride in black heritage, this collection is one of the venerated Giovanni's finest. She has a classic style that tackles universal topics in an accessible way. Her writing is strongest in her pared down stanzas that somehow manage to succinctly describe huge topics. The pieces that describe her childhood memori ...more
Living My Best Book Life
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Make Me Rain is a poignant collection of poems about racism, aging, Nikki's black heritage, and racial injustices. The writing is beautiful and profound.

Nikki Giovanni's poems swept me away. It brought up the sad truth that racism and racial injustice not only took place and continues to happen but that it continued to stay and affect so many people of color. I liked that Nikki didn't shy away from speaking her truth. There were so many poems that she described how black people were made to fee
Jun 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley, poetry
Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. I love Nikki Giovanni, and have read many of her other works. I believe she is one of our finest living poets. This was not my favorite of her works. I've always appreciated her straightforward, practical style that is still layered with meaning. Many of the poems in this book felt extremely relevant to what's happening in early June 2020 with the Black Lives Matter movement and nationwide protests. I appreciate her voice and perspective on thos ...more
Nov 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I seldom read poetry. I will listen to this again before returning it to the library. Need I say more?
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really liked these poems.
Susan Barber
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, poetry
First - Nikki Giovanni. Need I say more? This collection is salt of the earth poetry - so beautiful, so complex, yet so simple as in why did I not make this connection before. Every page seems to be dog-eared waiting for a reread. If you've been afraid of poetry, start here. ...more
Never Without a Book
Dec 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
My first work by Giovanni and I wasn't disappointed. ...more
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another wonderful poetry collection from Nikki Giovanni that I know I’ll be rereading, especially Rainy Days.
Sharon Layburn
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Make Me Rain is a collection of short, simple, thought-provoking poems and essays about voting, slavery, love, and so much more. They are silly, sweet, questioning, beautiful, many emotions, often at the same time. They are easily devoured, but will stay with you long after they're read.

This ARC was obtained though Edelweiss, with thanks to William Morrow/HarperCollins, in exchange for an honest review.
Book Reviews By Tara
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Make Me Rain is my favorite Nikki Giovanni book to date. Very relatable topics. Many of the poems resonated with me. She writes about what is going on today. Issues we are dealing with in these most troubling times.

There is something about this body of work that feels a little more personal to me than her prior books. Maybe it’s because of poems like Seeds, a poem that confronts her own mortality.

Or maybe it’s the prose, which gave me
small pieces of her personal life. A quick appetizer, not e
Beth Loflin
Sep 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaway-shelf
I received this from a giveaway. I am not usually a poetry fan, but always open to new thought. This book gave me some thoughts.

Let me start by saying.... Ms. Giovanni expresses her emotions and thoughts in an impactful way. I have not loved her life or would know what has made her feel the way she does.

I had a hard time with some of the passages. I felt they were racist and at time full of meaness and hate. It was clear her opinion of Trump. I believe in not sugar coating, but I do not creati
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Make Me Rain is warmth in words. It is unveiling and yet covering. Nikki gives us history, herself, and a type of love Black people can relate to. There is roots in her words and I felt honored to read every line.
Nov 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When Nikki Giovanni writes in her prayerful poem “Make Me Rain,” for which she names this collection, her words hearten back to the ancient Homeric invocation to the muse in “The Odyssey,” for in some ways this collection spans the epic scope of a lifetime of Giovanni making cleansing rain from words. I thought about the first time I read her ode to Tupac “All Eyze On You” decades ago as I read the final poem, “Tupac,” in this most recent collection. Giovanni shows readers her evolution from a y ...more
Scarllet ✦ iamlitandwit
I'm just a poet

All I have are words
And maybe a bit of hope
Nikki Giovanni's Make Me Rain is a collection of short, simple yet poignant poetry and prose on her Blackness, her love of her family, social commentary (voting, slavery, education, political figures), and stunning words on love. This was my first Giovanni read and I can see why she is viewed so highly in contemporary American poetry. Her poetry is straightforward but she has a way with words that held me tight, like her warm grandmother
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
What an honor, pleasure and delight to review an advance copy of Make Me Rain by one of thee most celebrated poets. This new collection speaks to the injustices of our society in Nikki Giovanni's signature sharp style. She even lets readers into her personal home life by sharing stories of loved ones and proudly displaying her black heritage through verse.

Nikki Giovanni minces no words. There is no guesswork in her prose. She unapologetically writes about racism, marriage, black athletes, the cu
Melanie Sligh
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review: 🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️/5

This is probably my favorite poetry of the year. I think especially today, during the election, this book is truly something to read, reflect, and decide how you’ll be moving forward.

I’ve read Make Me Rain three times already. Each time, I’ve found a new stance, a new angle, a new meaning. I feel like Nikki Giovanni takes me through a history lesson each time, and I have to add to my notes each time I read. Understand a different perspective, learn, instead of
Kristen Doyle
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you William Morrow Publishing for the ARC of Make Me Rain by Nikki Giovanni.

I can't remember when I first became aware of Nikki Giovanni's work, but I know it was either through Oprah or President Obama. Nikki Giovanni made me love reading poetry and prose again. I had gotten away from taking the time to read the work of poets, but once I discovered Giovanni, I once again became a fan.

Make Me Rain: Poems & Prose is a collection of words relevant to today. Each poem makes you think, turnin
Jimalion Itsabookishworld_

Thank you @tlcbooktours and @williammorrow for a gifted copy of this book.

Make Me Rain by Nikki Giovanni of course is nothing short of amazing. In these collections of poetry Nikki Giovanni covers voting, slavery, the love she holds for her family and her Blackness among many other things.

Nikki Giovanni has always had the gift of packing the biggest lessons in the poems she gives us and she never disappoints. I highly suggest if you do not pick this book up, check out any of her books. She wil
Nikki, as usual, prose and poetry were audacious and real. Her book of prose and poems dealt with love, loss, injustice, reflections, and the one rotten orange that is "making America great again."

Nikki also lets the readers see that she knows her worth.

“And mostly we need to pick and choose Who we listen to so we follow our own path Yeah we need to follow our own path”

This collection of poems and prose was just as intriguing as any of her other works.
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the second book of poetry I've read this week, and I enjoyed this one much more by far. While it's free verse poetry, I didn't feel like I had to work incredibly hard to grasp the poems and their meanings. Nikki Giovanni addresses a wide range of topics in what I consider a relatively cohesive volume. I'm excited to hear her speak tomorrow night and gain more from her. ...more
Jacquelyn Fusco
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Nikki Giovanni. That's all. ...more
J. Greene
Oct 10, 2020 rated it liked it
*A special thank you to the publisher for this review copy.*

Make Me Rain is full of poignant, reverent pieces that sing the praises and hardships of Blackness like a ballad—a high note of appreciation for those dear to Giovanni. All the while, this book of poems and prose cast a revealing light on the inconsistencies, and discriminations of American freedom and way of life, placing Blackness next to it for honest comparison. Make Me Rain is my first Nikki Giovanni read. I would wax poetic about
Jodi Geever
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Powerful and timely. A real treat to be read by the author.
Book Mitch
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Some of my favorites are:

-Raise Your Hand
-Submission for the Commemorative Edition on Barack Obama
-Ferguson: The Musical

She's badass
Kelley Blair
Aug 28, 2020 rated it liked it
A timely book detailing social and racial injustices in poetic form. Creative and a fresh approach to societal discrimination. Big Sisters and I Am Your Sweatshirt were among my favorites. Nikki gives the reader a taste of life people of color endure. Thanks to William Morrow for the advance copy. The opinions expressed are my own.
Raegan   Ralls
-Disclaimer: I won this book for free through Goodreads giveaways in exchange for an honest review.-

I am not the demographic for this book. I found it racist and extremely negative. I didn't like any of the topics she chose to write about. It is very repetitive. And the writing style was not good at all.
Nov 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
"Racism is bad and religion is good." Write that 50 times on every page, and you've got "Make Me Rain." I want my time back. ...more
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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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“Silence I wondered why Grandmother and Grandpapa could sit in Silence on the front porch She smoked a cigarette He didn’t Sitting on the swing in Silence I washed the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen trying to figure out why they sat in Silence Then I got to be my own age with my own deck and my own person and I understood” 0 likes
“And mostly we need to pick and choose Who we listen to so we follow our own path Yeah we need to follow our own path” 0 likes
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