Poet Nikki Giovanni Tweets Home, Peace And West Virginia

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Tell Me More is celebrating National Poetry Month this April with its third annual 'Muses and Metaphor' series. Today, renowned African-American poet Nikki Giovanni reads an original tweet poem about West Virginia. Listeners can tweet their short poems using the hashtag: #TMMPoetry.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now the latest in our series, Muses and Metaphor. We are celebrating National Poetry Month by hearing your poetic tweets. You have already started sending us poems that are 140 characters or less. Yesterday, we kicked off this series with author, performer and our series curator, Holly Bass.

Today, we hear from renowned poet Nikki Giovanni. She is one of the most widely read living American poets, known for writing honestly about her experience as a black woman, a mother and a civil rights activist. Her work has been honored with many awards, including a Caldecott, Langston Hughes Medal for Poetry and the Rosa Parks Woman of Color Award. She is currently a distinguished professor of English at Virginia Tech and she sent along this poem.

NIKKI GIOVANNI: (Reading) Morgantown, West Virginia, haiku for Ethel and Lucy. Pinto beans, fried cornbread, clean spring water, rocking chair, your smile, home, peace.

MARTIN: Now we know that went by quickly, so do you want to hear it again? Here it is.

GIOVANNI: (Reading) Morgantown, West Virginia, haiku for Ethel and Lucy. Pinto beans, fried cornbread, clean spring water, rocking chair, your smile, home, peace.

MARTIN: That was a poetic tweet submitted by Nikki Giovanni. Now we want to hear from you. If you would like to help us celebrate National Poetry Month, tweet us your original poetry using fewer than 140 characters. If your poem is chosen, we will help you record it for us and we will air it in the program this month. So tweet us using the hash tag #TMMPoetry. You can learn more at the TELL ME MORE website. Just go to NPR.org/TellMeMore.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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