KPFA Radio 94.1 FM with Marcus Books presents:
Nikki Giovanni + Sabrina Jacobs
Make Me Rain
Thursday, October 28, 2021, 7PM PT
“Giovanni’s latest collection is her finest to date. Imbued with the classic, accessible, and deeply empathetic style of this venerated American poet…Giovanni’s ability to pare down complex subjects in exquisitely succinct poetic forms makes her work timeless and profoundly resonant…”– Booklist
Nikki Giovanni’s poetry has inspired, enlightened, and captivated generations of readers. She is cherished by the nation and revered in the African-American community as a potent and affirming siren of culture, tradition, and the issues of our time. This October she delivers all new work with MAKE ME RAIN. In this offering Giovanni is as sharp and outspoken as ever, bringing profound and timely poems that call attention to injustice and give readers an unfiltered look into the more guarded regions of her heart.
In MAKE ME RAIN Giovanni celebrates her loved ones and unapologetically declares her pride in her Black heritage, while exploring the enduring impact of the twin sins of racism and white nationalism. With this compendium she reaffirms her place as a uniquely vibrant and relevant American voice with poems such as, “I Come from Athletes,” and “Rainy Days,” which call out segregation and Donald Trump; “Unloved (for Aunt Cleota),” and “When I Could No Longer,” a personal elegy for the relatives who saved her from an abusive childhood home.
The poet recently trended on Twitter after thousands logged on to hear her chat virtually with activist Angela Davis. From the records she released in the 1970’s, to her devout tribute of a “thug life” tattoo to honor rapper Tupac Shakur, Giovanni is recognized by younger generations for her insight, connectedness, and the comforting familiarity of her voice. She is the admired elder stateswoman of African American letters, and final representative of an extraordinary cohort that once included her dear friends, writers Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison.
With MAKE ME RAIN, a beloved American poet challenges us with a powerful and deeply personal collection of verse that speaks to the injustices of society while illuminating the depths of her own heart. Stirring, provocative, and poignant, these poems pierce the heart and nourish the soul.
During her storied, decades long career, poet, activist, professor and mother NIKKI GIOVANNI has received nineteen honorary degrees from colleges and universities; and numerous achievement, humanitarian and other awards of recognition from government, private, and public organizations. She has been presented the keys to more than two dozen cities, including New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, New Orleans, and Baltimore. The author of twenty-seven books, including the seminal Black Feeling Black Talk, Black Judgment, Nikki Giovanni is a University Distinguished Professor of English at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. She continues to read her work all across the country. A living legend, she has been published by William Morrow for over thirty years.
SABRINA JACOBS is the producer and host of KPFA’s popular show “A Rude Awakening” In addition she is a frequent host and interviewer on KPFA’S Zoom webinar series with contemporary authors.