Hear the Work of Poet Nikki Giovanni Tonight, at the South Dallas Cultural Center

My laundry list of life regrets is full of squandered chances, like when I missed Justin Timberlake at Gypsy Tea Room in 2005. Still, none sits higher than the time I passed on a lecture by Nikki Giovanni. The poet, activist and educator stopped by Mountain View College to perform her work and looking back, I can't even remember why I sat the evening out. Go ahead and file that under My Greatest Errors.

Needless to say, the opportunity to see her again, especially in such an intimate setting, won't come twice, but today life offers a re-do, of sorts. The literary hero will be honored at 8 p.m. this evening as part of a Women's History Month celebration at the South Dallas Cultural Center, and while she will not be present, her work will be. It's March's installment of "Queerly Speaking," an open mic event offered by Fahari Arts that's dedicated to artistic expression in the creative gay community.

Start your weekend with selections by one of the strongest, and most challenging voices of modern poetry. Giovanni's work focuses on identity and the individual, and as a champion for human rights and equality, she's a more than apt closing voice for Women's History Month. You might not remember anything you else you do today, but you'll remember the effect hearing her work performed had on you.

"Woman" - Nikki Giovanni

she wanted to be a blade
of grass amid the fields
but he wouldn't agree
to be the dandelion

she wanted to be a robin singing
through the leaves
but he refused to be
her tree

she spun herself into a web
and looking for a place to rest
turned to him
but he stood straight
declining to be her corner

she tried to be a book
but he wouldn't read

she turned herself into a bulb
but he wouldn't let her grow

she decided to become
a woman
and though he still refused
to be a man
she decided it was all

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