In Love Poems, Nikki Giovanni gives an empowered edge to the topics of sexuality, intimacy and what it means to love. Published in 1997, the collection’s poems span thirty years of her career as a writer. We hear Giovanni through many lenses: as a young woman, as an activist striving for change, as a lover, as an African American.

Giovanni’s talent as a performer is evident in the musicality of her verse. Love Poems reads like a compilation of songs, prayers, dialogue and stories, making it a dynamic reading experience. Her prose pieces are particularly powerful. “And Yeah…This is a Love Poem”, an emotional piece on the Million Man March, is as breathless as it is uplifting. “When Gamble and Huff Ruled” talks community and shared history through a poem about the black experience in the 1960s.

This slender volume will certainly be a favorite collection for fans of Giovanni’s work. The hardcover edition, available at all Busboys and Poets locations, would also make a lovely Valentine’s Day gift for a friend or significant other.

This review was generously provided by 14th and V Bookstore Supervisor Fran McCrae. Want to learn more about Love Poems and other works by Nikki Giovanni? Please join Busboys and Poets for an evening with this celebrated poet on Feb 10th, 2017 at our 5th & K location.

On Censorship by Salman Rushdie

No writer ever really wants to talk about censorship. Writers want to talk about creation, and censorship is anti-creation, negative energy, uncreation, the bringing into being of non-being, or, to use Tom Stoppard’s description of death, “the absence of presence.” Censorship is the thing that stops you doing what you want to do, and what writers want to talk about is what they do, not what stops them doing it.