discover the poems of lesser-known black women poets of the Harlem Renaissance–poets like Jessie Redmon Fauset, Gwendolyn Bennett, Effie Lee Newsome, and Alice Dunbar-Nelson. Then, masterful poet Nikki Grimes follows up each of those poems with a “Golden Shovel” poem of her own.
The Golden Shovel form was developed by poet Terrance Hayes in homage to Gwendolyn Brooks; it’s a way of resampling the work of another poet. Here’s a good explanation of how to write a Golden Shovel poem. Grimes writes of this form, “This is a very challenging way to create a poem, especially to come up with something that makes sense, but I love it for that very reason!” I can’t wait to try my hand at this poetry form!
LEGACY: WOMEN POETS OF THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE is a treasure trove of a book. There’s so much to love and dive into. There are the poems by the Harlem Renaissance poets, the poems by Nikki Grimes, the amazing art, and the wonderful poet biographies and artist biographies in the backmatter. It’s a whole package of wonderful, a perfect way to celebrate #NationalPoetryMonth, and as one reviewer wrote, “Black girls everywhere, this collection is salve and sanctuary.”
On Fridays, I love taking part in Poetry Friday when I can, where writers share their love of all things poetry. This week, Catherine hosts the Poetry Friday Roundup today at her blog Reading to the Core. Check out the feast of poetry there today!