Meet the Author: Nikki Grimes


Date, Location

New York Times Bestselling Author

New York Times bestselling author Nikki Grimes will visit Kalamazoo schools and Kalamazoo Public Library this spring to share about her writing and career with Kalamazoo kids, teens, and families. Ms. Grimes will sign books after the event. 

Sponsored by Kalamazoo Public Library and the Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library. Book sales at the event, provided by Bookbug.

About Nikki Grimes

Nikki Grimes does not consider herself a bona fide storyteller, but, as she told an audience at the Library of Congress, she is happy to own the title Poet. Born and raised in New York City, Nikki began composing verse at the age of six and has been writing ever since that time. | Nikki Grimes Books

A bestselling author and a prolific artist, Nikki has written many award-winning books for children and young adults including the Coretta Scott King Award winner Bronx Masquerade; the Coretta Scott King Author Honor books Jazmin’s Notebook, Talkin’ About Bessie, Dark Sons, The Road to Paris, and Words with Wings; Horn Book Fanfare for Talkin’ About Bessie; ALA Notable books What is Goodbye? and Words with Wings; the popular Dyamonde Daniel chapter book series, and numerous picture books and novels including The New York Times bestseller Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope and, most recently, Voices of Christmas and Planet Middle School.

“Story. It’s all about story. Whatever understanding of the character is needed to move the story forward, support it, or ground it drives my choices. A poem might be needed to create back-story, or to explain the emotional state of the character, or to establish the story arc. Whatever the case, it is always Story that drives my choices.” —Nikki Grimes


In addition to her work for children, Ms. Grimes has written articles for such magazines as Essence, Today’s Christian Woman, Book Links, and Image, Journal of Arts & Religion.

An accomplished and widely anthologized poet of both children’s and adult verse, Grimes has conducted poetry readings and lectures at international schools in Russia, China, Sweden and Tanzania, while short-term mission projects have taken her to such trouble spots as Haiti.

During the 1970s, Nikki coproduced and hosted The Kid’s Show on WBAI FM in New York. Later, during a six-year stint in Sweden, she hosted their radio program for immigrants, Grunslöst, and another for Swedish Educational Radio.

In 2005, Ms.Grimes was awarded the Golden Dolphin Award by the Southern California Children’s Book Association, recognizing her body of work.

Nikki has been honored with the NCTE Award for Poetry and the 2016 Virginia Hamilton Literary Award from Kent State University.

Performing Artist / Fiber Artist / Jeweler / Jane-of-all-Trades

Crossing borders artistically as well as geographically, Nikki once sang on the stage of the Stockholm Philharmonic in Sweden (where magazines refer to her as a singer who also writes!), sang and danced her way down the east coast of China, and has published and exhibited her photography both here and abroad. In recent years, she's extended herself into the world of fiber art, beaded jewelry, complex sculptural peyote beading, and handmade cards, created from recycled materials. | Grimes Gallery

Based in Southern California, her wearable-art jewelry has shown up on the necks, wrists, and earlobes of customers as far away as Utah, Iowa, Chicago, Illinois, Washington, D.C., and New York City. At one time, her work was frequently featured in fine art fairs and bookstores. However, the author has little time to pursue her interest in visual and textile art these days. The work she produces now is strictly for friends, family, and the sheer joy of creating art. 

Ms. Grimes lives in Corona, California. 

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