On Thursday, April 6, Missouri Western hosted Nikki Giovanni for a poetry reading and Q&A in Potter Hall Theatre. The event, titled “The Mochila Review Presents: In the Shadow of Nikki Giovanni,” celebrated the 2017 issue of The Mochila Review, a national undergraduate literary journal made by Dr. Marianne Kunkel and her ENG 395 students. This year’s issue featured an interview with Giovanni along with undergraduate poems selected by Giovanni for the Undergraduate MoRe Prize.
Giovanni’s campus reading was a big success, bringing 400+ people out from the St. Joseph and Kansas City communities, high schools, and campuses. Giovanni read poems from her new book, Chasing Utopia, answered many questions from the audience, then signed books in the lobby where there was cake decorated like the cover of The Mochila Review.
Dr. Kunkel wishes to thank her incredible ENG 395 staff along with the generous donors who made this event possible: President Vartabedian, Provost Daffron, Latoya Fitzpatrick and the Center for Multicultural Education, Dr. Stacia Bensyl and EML, and Mary Beth Revels and the St. Joseph Public Library. Also, we thank Dr. James Carviou for organizing a dinner with Nikki and students before the event. Lastly, thank you, Nikki Giovanni, for sharing your brilliance with us!