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News Release
Monday, February 19, 2018

Renowned Author, Poet, Activist and Educator Nikki Giovanni
Inspires Audience at the HPLQ Reading Series Event

HOUSTON - The Houston Public Library was honored to present renowned author, poet, activist and educator Nikki Giovanni as part of its HPLQ (Houston Public Library Quarterly) Author Series on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at the University of Houston’s Cullen Performance Hall. This event was made possible through the generous support of the Houston Public Library Foundation.
Giovanni shared her humor, wisdom and experiences as well as a discussion of her new book
A Good Cry: What We Learn from Tears and Laughter  to an enthusiastic and culturally diverse audience who completely filled the Cullen Performance Hall. Her words grabbed everyone's attention and by the end of her presentation she received a long standing ovation.
City of Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner, who attend the event called Nikki Giovanni “An American treasure,” and presented her with a Proclamation stating that February 15, 2018 was Nikki Giovanni Day in Houston.
The HPLQ event opened with Master of Ceremonies Cindy George, a journalist with the Houston Chronicle, followed by a presentation by Ensemble Theater’s veteran performer, Tony Glover and a poem reading dedicated to Giovanni by Houston’s Poet Laureate, Deborah "DEEP" Mouton. 
The program was lived streamed and now the entire presentation by Giovanni can be viewed on
HPL's YouTube Channel.   
About Nikki Giovanni
For over thirty years, Nikki Giovanni has held a unique place on the American stage. A poet, activist, and educator, her fiery, humorous and reflective voice has informed our national consciousness; while her gifts of spirit as healer, sage, and comforting friend have charmed our hearts.
A Good Cry: What We Learn from Tears and Laughter, Giovanni returns with what may be her most intimate collection. She reveals the joy and peril of aging, and pays tribute to the poets, thinkers and students that hold court inside her mind and heart.
Giovanni is one of the world’s most well-known African-American poets, with more than 30 published books of poetry, nonfiction, and children’s literature. She was named the recipient of the Maya Angelou Lifetime Achievement Award by the African Americans on the Move Book Club. Giovanni has also won seven NAACP Image Awards, been nominated for a Grammy. She has written three New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestsellers and was named one of Oprah Winfrey’s 25 “Living Legends.” Giovanni is a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech University.
Nikki Giovanni was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. Over the span of thirty years, she has received nineteen honorary degrees from colleges and universities; numerous achievement, humanitarian, and recognition awards from government, private, and public organizations, including Woman of the Year for Ebony, Mademoiselle, Essence, and Ladies Home Journal magazines.  She’s also received an Outstanding Humanitarian Award from The House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Kentucky; two Tennessee Governors Award in the Arts and in the Humanities; the Virginia Governors Award; and a Caldecott Honors for Rosa. She was also the first recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award.
Giovanni is a University Distinguished Professor of English at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg VA. She continues to read her work across the Country.

About the Houston Public Library
The Houston Public Library (HPL) operates 35 neighborhood libraries, four HPL Express Libraries, a Central Library, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, The African American Library at the Gregory School, and the Parent Resource Library located in the Children’s Museum of Houston. With more than eight million visits per year in person and online, HPL is committed to excellent customer service and equitable access to information and programs by providing library customers with free use of a diverse collection of printed materials and electronic resources, Internet, laptop and computer use, and a variety of database and reference resources with live assistance online 24/7.
For further information, visit the Houston Public Library at, on Twitter @houstonlibrary, on Facebook – houstonlibrary or call 832-393-1313.

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