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Twisting the Plot

May 18, 2021

Nikki Giovanni has a gift for making the everyday extraordinary. 

She is an American poet, commentator, activist and educator. She has published multiple poetry anthologies, children’s books and spoken word recordings. In the 1960’s she was dubbed “the poet of the black revolution.” She was an activist in the civil rights movement and an inspiration for the Black Arts movement. She has won 7 NAACP Image awards, the Langston Hughes Medal, and was the first recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award. 

In the 1970’s Nikki produced and made several appearances on the television program Soul!, where she engaged in a memorable dialogue with James Baldwin. She has taught writing and literature at Queens College, Rutgers and Ohio State, and is now the University Distinguished Professor of English at Virginia Tech.

We are so, so fortunate to have Nikki on our Twisting the Plot Podcast.  We could have talked together for hours. Conversations with Nikki are like poetry itself. Multiple meanings exude from each word she speaks. She’s a wordsmith, a storyteller, and a wise guide. And she lets her imagination run free. She thinks growing older is a good idea.

She reads from her most recent book, Make Me Rain. 


Make Me Rain

make me rain

turn me into a snowflake


let me rest

on your tongue


make me a piece of ice

so I can cool you


let me be the cloud

that embraces you


or the quilt 

that gets you dry


snuggle close

listen to me sing

on the windowsill


make me rain

on you


Check out Nikki's website at

Read some more of Nikki's poems at

Buy Make Me Rain: Poems and Prose by Nikki Giovanni on Amazon