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18

SATURDAY

In Nikki Giovanni’s Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea: Poems and Not Quite Poems, the poetry, in lines arrayed just so amid the gravitas of white space, is about as moving as jewel-box ballerinas. It’s in those “not quite” parts that Giovanni’s words leap and pirouette. She reminisces about her grandmother’s cooking: “Love life suffering? A little garlic in a quarter stick of butter two scrambled eggs that are angel wings light will bring him around.” She envisions “Making James Baldwin”: “and then it occurs to you If You Are A Deer In Headlights MOVE and avoid being steamrolled.” And she follows Harry Potter, “a boy who lived,” through time and space, historical oppression and a romantic tete-a-tete. It takes a certain chutzpah for one of America’s most renowned poets to put “not quite poems” on her book jacket, but Giovanni’s wordsmithery proves she’s quite ready to handle the results of such an action. Sisterspace & Books brings her to town at 4 p.m. (see City List for other dates) at the University of the District of Columbia’s Main Auditorium, 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW. $10. (202) 332-3433. (Pamela Murray Winters)