With Chasing Utopia, Nikki Giovanni, one of America’s most celebrated artists, demands that the prosaic—flowers, birdsong, winter—be seen as poetic.
The poetry of Nikki Giovanni has spurred movements and inspired songs, turned hearts and informed generations. She’s been hailed as a healer and a national treasure. But if her reputation is writ large upon the national stage, her heart resides in the everyday where family and lovers gather, friends commune, and those no longer with us are remembered.
And at every gathering there is food, food as sustenance, food as aphrodisiac, food as memory. A pot of beans are flavored with her mother’s sighs, this sigh part cardamom, that one the essence of clove; a lover requests a banquet as an affirmation of ongoing passion; an homage is paid to the most time-honored appetizer, soup.
Chasing Utopia affirms once again why Nikki Giovanni is as energetic, “remarkable” (Gwendolyn Brooks), “wonderful” (Marian Wright Edleman), “outspoken, prolific, energetic” (New York Times), and as relevant as ever