May 12, 2022

Poetry Reading a Highlight of VT Humanities Week | Entertainment

“If everyone became a poet, the world would be a better place,” Professor Nikki Giovanni once wrote. “We were all reading to each other.”

The Hokie nation, if not the world, will be enriched on Feb. 8 from 5-6 p.m., when poets read to each other — and the rest of the Virginia Tech community — at the annual Nikki Giovanni Poetry Celebration.

Each year, Virginia Tech’s English Department hosts the honoring ceremony for the winners of the Giovanni-Steger Poetry Prize, one of the nation’s most prestigious undergraduate literary awards.

When Giovanni, an internationally acclaimed poet and professor emeritus of English at Virginia Tech, created the contest in 2005, she awarded the prize to its first benefactor, Charles W. Steger, then president of the university. Fifteen years later, the prize was renamed the Giovanni-Steger Poetry Prize.

This year, the event will be held in person at the Anne and Ellen Fife Theater at the Moss Arts Center, with a virtual option. The ceremony will feature college and university leaders reading their favorite poems, alternating with finalist students presenting their own works. The event will conclude with the nomination of the three winners, followed by a reception.

The ceremony is a culmination of the first-ever Virginia Tech Humanities Week, to be held Feb. 7-11 as part of the university’s sesquicentennial celebration.

“There’s no better way to spend an evening than celebrating poetry with Nikki Giovanni and the rest of the English Department,” said Rebecca Weaver-Hightower, Department Chair. “The students are doing an amazing job. This is an event not to be missed. »

– Submitted by Paula Byron