Poet Nikki Giovanni is the keynote speaker of the 2015 Blackburn Literary Festival, organized by the Archive, Duke’s oldest literary magazine. She will speak on the topic “Diversity as Art: Art is Diversity” at 7 p.m. in the Nelson Music Room at the East Duke Building on Duke University’s East Campus. She will be available to answer questions and sign books after the talk. Entry is free. Light refreshments will be provided.
Nikki Giovanni was born in 1943 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her poems first emerged from the Black Rights Movement in the 1960s. She currently teaches at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Throughout her career, Giovanni has gone on to win numerous awards, including the Langston Hughes Medal, the NAACP Image Award, and the Rosa L. Parks Woman of Courage Award.
Oprah has called her “one of the 25 living legends.” On writing, Giovanni says, “I’m not trying to tell people what to do or what to think or none of that. I’m not a leader. I’m not a guru. I’m just a poet looking at the world.”
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*About the Archive’s Blackburn Literary Festival
Established in 1959 by Professor William Blackburn, the Archive Literary Festival began as a series of student-run literary gatherings aimed at making literature more accessible to Duke students. Every year, the Festival brings nationally acclaimed authors to Duke University and hosts local writers and faculty members for public readings. The Festival serves as a forum for discussion and appreciation of different modalities of literary expression amongst Duke students and faculty and the local community.