Author Nikki Giovanni added to PLA 2016 Conference lineup

Mon, 02/08/2016


Kara O'Keefe
Manager, Membership Marketing

CHICAGO — The Public Library Association (PLA) is pleased to announce Nikki Giovanni, world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator, as an Adult Author Lunch Speaker at the PLA 2016 Conference on Thursday, April 7 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.

One of the most widely-read American poets, Giovanni prides herself on being “a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English.” She remains as determined and committed as ever to the fight for civil rights and equality. Always insisting on presenting the truth as she sees it, she has maintained a prominent place as a strong voice of the Black community. Her focus is on the individual, specifically, on the power one has to make a difference in oneself, and thus, in the lives of others.

Over the course of more than three decades of publishing and lecturing she has come to be called both a “National Treasure” and, most recently, one of Oprah Winfrey’s twenty-five “Living Legends.” Her autobiography, Gemini, was a finalist for the National Book Award; Love PoemsBlues: For All the ChangesQuilting the Black-Eyed PeaAcolytes, and Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat were all honored with NAACP Image Awards. Blues: For All the Changes reached #4 on the Los Angeles Times best-seller list, a rare achievement for a book of poems. Most recently, her children’s picture book, Rosa, about the civil rights legend Rosa Parks, became a Caldecott Honors Book, and Bryan Collier, the illustrator, was given the Coretta Scott King award for best illustration. Rosa also reached #3 on the New York Times best-seller list. Shortly after its release, Bicycles: Love Poems reached #1 on for Poetry.

Giovanni’s spoken word recordings have also achieved widespread recognition and honors. Her album, Truth Is On Its Way, on which she reads her poetry against a background of gospel music, was a top 100 album and received the Best Spoken Word Album given by the National Association of Radio and Television Announcers. Her Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection, on which she reads and talks about her poetry, was one of five finalists for a Grammy Award.

Nikki Giovanni joins an extraordinary group of authors scheduled for the PLA 2016 Author Lunch series, including: Arianna Huffington, Sherman Alexie, and a We Need Diverse Books panel with e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Lamar Giles, I.W. Gregorio, and Sara Farizan. A separate registration fee does apply for special author events.

Offered biennially, the PLA Conference is the premier event for public libraries, drawing thousands of librarians, library support staff, trustees, friends, and library vendors from across the country and around the world. Find complete details at and join us in Denver!

The Public Library Association (PLA) is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.

For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or