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Out of this collection of twenty-two interviews spanning two decades rises the distinctive voice of “the princess of black poetry.” Nikki Giovanni entered the literary world at the height of the Black Arts Movement and quickly achieved not simple fame but stardom, a phenomenon almost unprecedented for a poet. Her first two volumes of poetry, Black Feeling, Black Talks and Black Judgement, gave expression to the thoughts and feelings of a generation of young African Americans and established Giovanni, in the minds of many, as a “revolutionary,” even militant, poet. The image was not altogether accurate, yet it became the gauge by which her later work was judged.
In these conversations the reader can follow the evolution of Giovanni’s distinctive voice and the sensibility of the poet’s mind. She chooses her words carefully, while giving an impression of spontaneity and even of glibness.