Nikki Giovanni, fully Yolanda Cornelia "Nikki" Giovanni

Giovanni, fully Yolanda Cornelia "Nikki" Giovanni

American Writer and Poet, winner of NAACP Image Award for Literature and Langston Hughes Award

Author Quotes

The ability to take pride in your own work is one of the hallmarks of sanity.

She knows who she is, because she knows who she isn't.

We are less lonely when we connect. Art is connection.

If now isn't a good time for the truth I don't see when we'll get to it.

A lot of people refuse to do things because they don't want to go naked, don't want to go without guarantee. But that's what's got to happen. You go naked until you die.

Everything will change. The only question is growing up or decaying.

Deal with yourself as a individual, worthy of respect and make everyone else deal with you the same way.

I'm glad I understand that while language is a gift, listening is a responsibility.

In the name of peace they waged the wars. Ain't they got no shame?

I grow old though pleased with my memories
the tasks I can no longer complete
Are balanced by the love of the tasks gone past.

I offer no apology only
this plea:

When I am frayed and strained and drizzle at the end,
please someone cut a square and put me in a quilt
That I might keep some child warm.

And some old person with no one else to talk to
Will hear my whispers

and cuddle

If you're a writer, the answer to everything is yes.

If i can't do
what i want to do
then my job is to not
do what i don't want
to do.

It's not the same thing
but it's the best i can

If i can't have
what i want . . . then
my job is to want
what i've got
and be satisfied
that at least there
is something more to want.

Since i can't go
where i need
to go . . . then i must . . . go
where the signs point
through always understanding
parallel movement
isn't lateral.

When i can't express
what i really feel
i practice feeling
what i can express
and none of it is equal.

I know
but that's why mankind
alone among the animals
learns to cry.

Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

The world is not a pleasant place to be without someone to hold and be held by.

Art is not for the cultivated taste. It is to cultivate taste.

I resent people who say writers write from experience. Writers don't write from experience, though many are hesitant to admit that they don't. I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you'd get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.

Sacred cows make very poor gladiators.

Don't want to be near you for the thoughts we share but the words we never have to speak.

Some say we are responsible for those we love. Others know we are responsible for those who love us.

We write because we believe the human spirit cannot be tamed and should not be trained.

There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don't expect you to save the world I do think it's not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your live those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.

We love because it's the only true adventure.

I really don't think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don't mind the failure but I can't imagine that I'd forgive myself if I didn't try.

Life/personality must be taken as a total entity. All of your life is all of your life, and no one incident stands alone.

Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to error that counts.

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First Name
Last Name
Giovanni, fully Yolanda Cornelia "Nikki" Giovanni
Birth Date

American Writer and Poet, winner of NAACP Image Award for Literature and Langston Hughes Award