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Celebrity Survivor of Lung Cancer!!!


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The poet, Nikki Giovanni is a LC Survivor!

Nikki Giovanni - Author Spotlight - Interview

November 30, 2003


She has explored the innermost depths of herself (surviving the loss of a lung to cancer) as well as global issues. The work of Nikki Giovanni has been as evolutionary as it has been revolutionary. One of the finest poets of our time, she was a member of the Black Arts Movement of the late 1960s. Her early work still resonates with today's spoken word artists and hip-hop stars. But her career has been marked by movement. Nikki Giovanni, after all, is poetry in motion. Now, at age 60 and a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech, she is releasing THE COLLECTED POETRY OF NIKKI GIOVANNI, 19691983 (William Morrow, $24.95).

Q: As you look back, is there any poem you'd write differently?

A: I don't have a lot of that, I have to tell you. As I used to say all the time, I am prolific, but I am not quick. So I didn't make rash decisions about my subject matter or how I was going to approach it I'm fortunate in that I not only am not embarrassed about my poetry, but I'm actually really fond of it.

Q: How long does it take to write the poem that you like? Well, I don't think about the poem as much as I do the book, and I write a book about every two years. I'm always fiddling with something. Right now, I'm late on my book on my cancer. But that's because it turned out to be a painful book. I hadn't expected that.

Q: What do yon hope to accomplish in doing it?

A: What I'm trying to do is share it because it's kind of unusual for a lung cancer person to survive. I thought I needed to, and I want to, say something about cancer, about being in front of it.

Q: But you said it's taking you a while.

A: Because it is painful. It's very hard to write how frightening it is. I'm just trying to find a tone that conveys what I want conveyed and that doesn't make me cry every time I sit down at my computer.

QCOPYRIGHT 2003 Johnson Publishing Co.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

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