Nikki Giovanni, University Distinguished Professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has retired after 30 years on the faculty.
“In all fairness, I’m getting old,” Professor Giovanni said. She is 79 years old.
Professor Giovanni has been teaching at Virginia Tech since 1987. She is the author of many collections of poetry, children’s books, and works of nonfiction. She has published 11 illustrated children’s books, received 30 honorary degrees and seven NAACP Image Awards, and has been a finalist for a Grammy and for the National Book Award.
Her latest book, A Library, is set to debut this fall at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. It recounts her weekly visits as a child to a segregated library near her home.
“Nikki Giovanni has been an important and deeply valued presence on our campus, giving voice to the spirit of Virginia Tech and helping us celebrate, mourn, learn, heal, and be better,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. “Her words will continue to inspire us and touch readers around the world, and while we will miss her regular presence on campus, she will always be a beloved member of our university community.”
Professor Giovanni is a graduate of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.