Baldwin, James, and Nikki Giovanni. A Dialogue: James Baldwin and Nikki Giovanni. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1973. Based on a conversation aired by the Public Broadcasting Service as Soul! in 1971, this friendly, informal conversation sheds light on Giovanni’s opinions regarding race and gender identity in America—foundational themes in much of her poetry. Includes a foreword by Ida Lewis and an afterword by Orde Coombs.
Bigsby, C. W. E. The Second Black Renaissance: Essays in Black Literature. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1980. Bigsby analyzes many recent contributions to African American literature, including the work of Giovanni. Useful to any student of contemporary African American literature. Contains bibliographical references and an index.
Fowler, Virginia C. Nikki Giovanni. New York: Twayne, 1992. An introductory biography and critical study of selected works by Giovanni. Includes bibliographical references and index.
Giovanni, Nikki. Conversations with Nikki Giovanni. Edited by Virginia C. Fowler. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1992. A collection of interviews with Giovanni containing invaluable biographical information and insights into her writing.
Gould, Jean. “Nikki Giovanni.” In Modern American Women Poets. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1984. As treatments of this affable, self-confident poet are wont to be, Gould’s discussion of Giovanni is warm and personal. Stresses her biography and particularly her precocious personal achievements; provides little direct examination of the poetry.
McDowell, Margaret B. “Groundwork for a More Comprehensive Criticism of Nikki Giovanni.” In Belief vs. Theory in Black American Literary Criticism, edited by Joseph Weixlmann and Chester J. Fontenot. Greenwood, Fla.: Penkevill Publishing, 1986. An excellent source; McDowell points out biases and inconsistencies in criticism addressing Giovanni’s writings and sketches areas in need of further research.
Madhubuti, Haki R. Dynamite Voices. Detroit: Broadside Press, 1971. Radical African American poet Madhubuti offers a history and criticism of some poets of the 1960’s, of which Giovanni was one. Valuable, because he offers a contemporary look at the African American poetry scene. Contains a bibliography.
Walters, Jennifer. “Nikki Giovanni and Rita Dove: Poets Redefining.” The Journal of Negro History 85, no. 3 (Summer, 2000): 210-217. The poetry of Nikki Giovanni and Rita Dove is discussed. Both women are examples of self-defined African American women who found a voice through writing.
White, Evelyn C. “The Poet and the Rapper.” Essence 30, no. 1 (May, 1999): 122-124. Discusses Nikki Giovanni and cultural rapper and actor Queen Latifah on racism, rap music, and politics, topics which have abundantly influenced Giovanni’s poetry.