Nikki Giovanni, one of Virginia Tech?s university distinguished professors, recently won her third NAACP Image Award for her book of poems entitled ?Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea.?
Her new book takes an intellectual perspective on the depiction of the African-American people in space.
?I wanted to find the historical precedent for human beings to exist in a lonely place,? she said.
Giovanni was both honored and excited she won the Image Award again, she said.
?I?m really, really pleased,? she said. ?It?s unprecedented to win the award three times. It?s a pretty award.?
In 1998 she won her first Image Award for ?Love Poems,? and in 2000 she won her second for ?Blues: For All the Changes Member.?
Giovanni began teaching at Tech in 1987 and accepted a permanent position two years later.
She has taught classes such as Creative Writing, Creative Writing: Poetry and the Harlem Renaissance. Next spring she plans to teach a new class, the Negro Spiritual.
?I want (students) to learn, to enjoy,? she said. ?There are so many ways to teach people; it should be pleasant.?
When it comes to her classes, Giovanni believes it is important for her students to have fun while they learn.
?I think it helps when people understand history,? she said.
She said she believes students are more inclined to learn when history is involved in the experience.
In her Harlem Renaissance class, she held a Juke Joint, a southern tradition where students sing blues songs.
Giovanni said one of her biggest accomplishments is experiencing the development of her student?s writing abilities.
?If you can take something with you from a class, you will continue to learn what the class was trying to teach,? she said.
Giovanni said she plans to continue teaching for as long as she possibly can.