Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) has announced that the acclaimed poet and professor Nikki Giovanni will be the 2021-2022 Writer-in-Residence at the Toni Morrison Writing Program, according to the Houston Chronicle. The appointment will officially begin with a virtual series taking place September 27 – 29.

“The opportunity for students to develop their voices as writers, thinkers, and leaders is immeasurably enhanced by having the tutelage of such a noted, gifted, caring literary notable as Nikki Giovanni,” Emma Joahanne Thomas-Smith, Prairie View’s provost emerita, said in a written statement.

The writer-in-residence position is a component of Prairie View A&M’s Toni Morrison Writing Program, which Thomas-Smith oversees. Established by university President Ruth Simmons, “the program honors Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, who was Simmons’ friend and a mentor to philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, who was a student of Morrison’s during her time at Princeton and attributes much of her development as an author to Morrison’s mentorship.”

An official public ceremony is scheduled to take place at a later date in which a special tribute will be made to the late Pulitzer Prize winner of world renown.

Nikki Giovanni​ is an award-winning poet, writer, and activist. She’s won numerous awards, including the Langston Hughes Medal and the NAACP Image Award. Named a "Living Legend" by Oprah Winfrey. She is the author of more than two dozen books for adults and children, including Bicycles, Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea, Racism 101, Blues: For All the Changes, and Love Poems. Giovanni has taught at Queens College, Rutgers, Ohio State, and since 1987, she has been on the faculty at Virginia Tech, where she is a University Distinguished Professor.