Yolande Cornelia "Nikki" Giovanni Jr. (born June 7, 1943) is an American poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. One of the world's most well-known African-American poets, her work includes poetry anthologies, poetry recordings, and nonfiction essays, and covers topics ranging from race and social issues to children's literature. She has won numerous awards, including the Langston Hughes Medal and the NAACP Image Award. She has been nominated for a Grammy Award for her poetry album, The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection. Additionally, she has been named as one of Oprah Winfrey's 25 "Living Legends".Giovanni gained initial fame in the late 1960s as one of the foremost authors of the Black Arts Movement. Influenced by the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movement of the period, her early work provides a strong, militant African-American perspective, leading one writer to dub her the "Poet of the Black Revolution". During the 1970s, she began writing children's literature, and co-founded a publishing company, NikTom Ltd, to provide an outlet for other African-American women writers. Over subsequent decades, her works discussed social issues, human relationships, and hip hop. Poems such as "Knoxville, Tennessee" and "Nikki-Rosa" have been frequently re-published in anthologies and other collections.Giovanni has received numerous awards and holds 27 honorary degrees from various colleges and universities. She has also been given the key to over two dozen cities. Giovanni has been honored with the NAACP Image Award seven times. One of her more unique honors was having a South America bat species, Micronycteris giovanniae, named after her in 2007.Giovanni is proud of her Appalachian roots and works to change the way the world views Appalachians and Affrilachians.Giovanni has taught at Queens College, Rutgers, and Ohio State, and was a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech until September 1, 2022. Following the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, she delivered a chant-poem at a memorial for the shooting victims.