4 New Collections of Work by and About Bold, Free-Spirited Poets
A quartet of just-released books illuminates the artistry of Nikki
Giovanni, Mary Oliver, Joni Mitchell, and June Jordan, oracles who've
lived lives of boldness and beauty.
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A Good Cry
Slim though it is, Nikki Giovanni's 27th book, A Good Cry
(William Morrow), packs truth into every passage. Some of her poems feel
like intimate secrets, others like family lore. Mining her childhood in
a suburb of Cincinnati, she investigates suffering and the ways we
learn to cope. But she reserves a special reverence for friendship, like
the close one she had with Maya Angelou—"Doc," as she called her, who
died in 2014: "A hearty laugh will / No longer be / Heard."