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Yolande Cornelia "Nikki" Giovanni (born June 7, 1943 in Knoxville, Tennessee) is a Grammy-nominated American poet, activist and author. Giovanni is currently a Distinguished Professor of English at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Giovanni has received numerous honors for her contributions to literature and society. She has received more than twenty honorary degrees from national colleges and universities and has been given keys to more than a dozen cities in the United States, including New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, and New Orleans. Giovanni has been named woman of the year by several magazines, including Mademoiselle, Ladies' Home Journal, Ebony, and Essence. She has been awarded the Langston Hughes Medal for Outstanding Poetry and was the first recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award. She is also the recipient of three NAACP Image Awards and a honorary membership of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Giovanni was the 2007 recipient of The Chicago Public Library Foundation's Carl Sandburg Literary Award for lifetime achievement. Giovanni is the first poet to be chosen for this honor, which is awarded annually. Giovanni gave a lecture on October 18, 2007, at the Chicago Public Library in part with their Author Series.

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