March 27, 2007 - University of Tennessee's
Center for Children's and Young Adult Literature is very pleased to
host Nikki Giovanni for a special appearance at the Tennessee Theatre
at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27. The renowned writer/poet will be
joined on stage by UT's Love United Gospel Choir. The event is free
and open to the public. Carpe Librum Booksellers will provide books
See Nikki Giovanni at the Tennessee Theatre
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
7:00 PM - Free Event
Presented by UT-CCYAL
Giovanni and her publisher, Candlewick Press, chose Knoxville for
the launch of her new book, On My Journey Now - Looking at African
American History Through the Spirituals. Giovanni's personal journey
began in Knoxville where she was born in 1943 and where she and
her sister spent subsequent summers with their grandparents after
her family moved to Cincinnati, OH.
In her famous children's poem, "Knoxville, TN," Giovanni
returns to her nostalgic roots with warm memories of summer in the
mountains. There, she celebrates going to a church picnic where
she listens to gospel music outside.
As a little girl, Giovanni was deeply inspired by the early gospel
lyrics and beats of her ancestors. In On My Journey Now, she weaves
the words of those spirituals with the inspiring story of Africans
in America. As she paints compelling portraits of the lives of her
ancestors through familiar songs such as "Go Down, Moses"
and personal favorites such as "Ain't Got Time to Die,"
she celebrates people who overcame enslavement and found a way to
survive, worship and build.
Giovanni is the author of the best-selling Rosa, a biography of
Rosa Parks illustrated by Bryan Collier; The Sun Is So Quiet, illustrated
by Ashley Bryan; and Shimmy Shimmy Shimmy Like My Sister Kate. Three
of her poetry collections for adults have received NAACP Image Awards.
She serves as University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech
in Blacksburg where she now lives.
"We are honored that Candlewick and Giovanni have chosen our
event as the launch of this important book," says Ken Wise,
co-founder of the Center for Children's and Young Adult Literature.
"Her devotion to this area is a testament to the rich literary
tradition in our own back yard. She will continue to inspire young
people for generations."
The Love United Gospel Choir, which is celebrating their 30th anniversary
this year, is a student organization at the University of Tennessee
with 100 students who come together to serve the campus and local
community through service and song. Jocelyn Milton is the faculty
advisor for the choir. Gospel music is an integral part of the African
American culture and represents the theme of Giovanni's latest book.