Nikki Grimes was born and raised in New York City. She began writing poetry at age six and is well-known for writing award-winning books primarily for children and young adults. Bronx Masquerade and Talkin About Bessie both won Coretta Scott King Awards, and her poetry collections featuring Danitra Brown are very popular. Grimes received the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 2006. She has written articles for magazines including Essence and Todays Christian Woman, as well as hosted radio programs in New York and Sweden. She has lectured and read her poetry at schools in Russia, China, Sweden, and Tanzania. Grimes is also a prolific artist, creating works of fiber art, beaded jewelry, peyote beading, handmade cards, and photography.