Poetry Friday: My Nikki Giovanni Encounter

I’m featuring Nikki Giovanni for Poetry Friday because I’m lucky enough to be going to see her in person this evening, right here in Crickenburg!

Yes, Giovanni really lives in the real town that’s the model for Crickenburg in my book The Qwikpick Adventure Society. I considered a sequel where they show up at her house, led by poetry-loving Marilla, of course.

I’ve only seen her twice, once marching through Home Depot wearing her trademark tie and another time at a Town Council meeting, which I was covering for the newspaper.

As I recall, Giovanni was there to warn council against approving a new development, because of problems she had had with the developer.

As a reporter, I sat through this kind of stuff ALL the time. But, Giovanni made me and everyone else in the room snap to attention.

She talked about her problem, which I think was having her yard flooded, and said she had tried to reach the developer.

So, the poem for this week is what she said about the developer:

He didn’t even give me the


of a phone call!

Folks, the word courtesy rang out like the hammer of justice hitting the bell of freedom. The preceding story she had told was like storm clouds rolling in and then lightning strikes. The developer will be hearing the echoes of that word whilst sleeping in his coffin.


8 Responses

  1. Nikki Giovanni in the home Depot? Crickenburg is so much cooler than my town! All I ever see is Jimmy Fortune at the Cracker Barrel…

  2. Poets rock the world! I knew that was true, but it’s good to have a real-life, practical example to throw about now.

  3. In your town? In Home Depot!? You are SO much cooler than I am. I love Giovanni’s voice so much — I can imagine that ringing tone well. Thanks for sharing!

  4. That is a good story. Crickenburg=Charlottesville? I’m just guessing…

  5. Crickenburg = Christiansburg, actually. Just a flood zone away from Blacksburg, where Giovanni is a Virginia Tech professor.

    Steve: What are you doing eating at Cracker Barrel?

  6. It takes a poet sometimes to remind us how powerful a single word is, and how simple an act of courtesy can be.

  7. I am so jealous of you and your home depot!

  8. I just go there for the Moon Pies, I swear…

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