Read “His­tor­i­cal­ly Speak­ing,” in which Nik­ki shares more about her life, infor­ma­tion that will help with school projects.

Read Nikki’s com­ments about “An Author’s Life.”

Biography (you may reprint this in conference programs)

New York Times best­selling author Nik­ki Grimes was induct­ed into the Black Authors Hall of Fame in 2023. Her hon­ors include the CSK Vir­ginia Hamil­ton Life­time Achieve­ment Award, the ALAN Award for sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to young adult lit­er­a­ture, the Chil­dren’s Lit­er­a­ture Lega­cy Medal, and the NCTE Award for Excel­lence in Poet­ry for Chil­dren. Author of the Coret­ta Scott King Award-win­ner Bronx Mas­quer­ade, and five Coret­ta Scott King Author Hon­ors, she won the Printz Hon­or and Sib­ert Honor for her mem­oir Ordi­nary Haz­ards. Her lat­est titles include Gar­vey’s Choice:The Graph­ic Nov­el, a School Library Jour­nal 2023 Best Book; Lul­la­by for the King, one of Book Riot’s 25 Best Christ­mas Books of All Time; and A Walk in the Woods, recip­i­ent of 8 starred reviews, and 11 Best Book list­ings for 2023, includ­ing the New York Times, NPR, and Smith­son­ian Mag­a­zine. Ms. Grimes lives in Coro­na, California.

Biography (a longer biography for research purposes)

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.

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, Gar­vey’s Choice, One Last Word: Wis­dom from the Harlem Renais­sance, and A Walk in the Woods.

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.

Nikki Grimes

Pho­to cred­it: Aaron Lemen

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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. In 2017, she was pre­sent­ed with the Chil­dren’s Lit­er­a­ture Lega­cy Award for her “sub­stan­tial and last­ing con­tri­bu­tion to lit­er­a­ture for chil­dren.” In 2020, Nik­ki was cho­sen to receive The ALAN Award for out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to the field of ado­les­cent lit­er­a­ture. In 2021, she was pleased to be pre­sent­ed with the 2022 Vir­ginia Hamil­ton Life­time Achieve­ment Award.


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

Nikki Grimes sweater
Nik­ki Grimes sweater
Nikki Grimes greeting card
Nik­ki Grimes greet­ing card

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.

Based in South­ern­Cal­i­for­nia, 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 YorkC­i­ty. 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.

Here’s a link to the Grimes Gallery.

Ms.Grimes lives in Coro­na, California.