Poet and human rights activist Nikki Giovanni will speak at ISU April 18

AMES, Iowa -- Nikki Giovanni, one of America's most distinguished and widely read African-American poets and essayists and a product of the 1960s' Black Arts Movement, will speak at Iowa State University. Her lecture, "Truth is on the Way," will be at 7 p.m. Monday, April 18, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Well known the past 25 years for her outspokenness, Giovanni remains committed to fighting for civil rights and equality in education. She is the author of 30 books, including, "Black Feeling, Black Talk," "Black Judgment," and the 2003 releases, "The Collected Poems of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998" and "The Prosaic Soul of Nikki Giovanni." Giovanni also is a lung cancer survivor and a contributor to the book, "Breaking the Silence: Inspirational Stories of Black Cancer Survivors."

Many of Giovanni's books have received honors and awards. Her autobiography, "Gemini," was a finalist for the National Book Award. "Love Poems," "Blues: For All the Changes," Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea," "Acolytes," and "Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat" all received NAACP Image Awards.

Giovanni has been awarded honorary doctorates from 24 colleges and universities. Mademoiselle Magazine, Ladies' Home Journal and Ebony Magazine have named her Woman of the Year. She was the first recipient of the Rosa L. Parks Woman of Courage Award and was awarded the Langston Hughes Medal for poetry. Black Enterprise named Giovanni a Women of Power Legacy Award winner for work that expands opportunities for other women of color. And a scientist who admires Giovanni's work even named a new species of bat he discovered for her.

She is on the faculty at Virginia Tech University, where she is a University Distinguished Professor.

Giovanni's talk is cosponsored by the African and African-American Studies Program, Black Graduate Student Association, Black Student Alliance, Carver Academy, Delta Sigma Theta, English Department, Iota Iota Iota Women's Studies Honorary, LAS Miller Lecture Fund, MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment, Margaret Sloss Women's Center, Sister Circle, Women's Studies Program, YWCA Ames-ISU and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by the Government of the Student Body. More information on ISU lectures is available at http://www.lectures.iastate.edu, or by calling 515-294-9935.