Tuesday February 7, 2006

A Strong Voice

Poet Nikki Giovanni will speak at the Victoria Theatre Feb. 17 as part of the University of Dayton's Diversity Lecture Series and Celebrate Dunbar!, a yearlong tribute to Dayton's premiere poet.

Poet and activist Nikki Giovanni returns to Dayton to honor the legacy of Paul Laurence Dunbar, with a special speaking engagement at the Victoria Theatre at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17. The evening is presented by Victoria Theatre Association, in partnership with The University of Dayton's Diversity Lecture Series and English Department.

Nikki Giovanni is a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist and educator. Over more than 30 years, Giovanni's outspokenness, in her writing and in person, has brought the eyes of the world upon her. Always insisting on presenting the truth as she sees it, she has maintained a prominent place as a strong voice of the African-American community and remains committed to the fight for civil rights and equality. Her focus has always been on the individual and the power one has to make a difference in oneself and the lives of others.

For her appearance at the Victoria Theatre, Giovanni will be reading several works by Dunbar, as well as her own works. Following the presentation, Giovanni will be available in the lobby of the Victoria Theatre for a book signing.

Beginning at 7:30 p.m., a pre-show reception in the lobby of the Victoria Theatre will include music, poetry and spoken-word presentations. The evening also will feature a Dunbar selection performed by Herbert Martin, poet-in-residence at the University of Dayton, and Willie L. Morris III, saxophonist and associate professor of music at the University of Dayton. Martin enjoys an international reputation as a performer of Dunbar's poems and scholar of his works, and Morris often accompanies him on the saxophone during readings.

The evening is part of Celebrate Dunbar!, a community-wide series of events honoring the life and works of Paul Laurence Dunbar during the centennial year of his death.

Giovanni has written more than two-dozen books, including volumes of poetry, illustrated children's books and three collections of essays. She is perhaps best known for the poem, "Ego Tripping (There May Be a Reason Why)", and her most-recent volumes of poetry include Love Poems, Blues: For All the Changes and Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea.

Since 1987, Giovanni has taught writing and literature at Virginia Tech, where she is a University Distinguished Professor. She has received 21 honorary doctorates and a host of awards. As a devoted and passionate writer, teacher and speaker, she inspires not only her students but also readers and audiences nationwide.

The University of Dayton's media co-sponsors for the event are the Dayton Daily News, WHIO-TV and WDAO-1210 AM. Victoria Theatre Association receives support for this program from Bob Ross Buick-GMC-HUMMER and WRCX-TV.

Tickets are $18 and $12, and are on sale at the box offices at the Victoria Theatre and Schuster Center in downtown Dayton. To order tickets by phone, call (937) 228-3630 or toll free (888) 228-3630. Ticket Center Stage hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.; and two hours prior to each performance. Tickets may also be purchased online here.

For more information about this presentation, click here. For more information about Celebrate Dunbar!, go here.

Contact Eric Brockman at (937) 228-7591, ext. 3078 or Teri Rizvi at (937) 229-3241. Photos available online here. Select "Star Attractions" from the Photo Archive menu and enter or Username: youarestar and Password: media.