Nikki Grimes has put together another collection of Golden Shovel poems inspired by poets from the Harlem Renaissance, but this time, the poets are all women!
LEGACY: WOMEN POETS OF THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE is a wonderful collection (and in my humble opinion, it isn’t long enough!) of poems by lesser known female poets. I had certainly never heard of many of them (a hole in my poetry education to be sure!).
If you’re not familiar with the Golden Shovel form, check out my blog review of Nikki’s previous collection ONE LAST WORD back in 2020. It explains in her own words what the poem form does (which you will need to know before I share today’s selection).
In this collection, she shares a poem by one of these poets, meditates on one line and creates her own unique poem from that (using the Golden Shovel form), and then an illustrator is given the chance to illustrate the new poem. Nikki Grimes only wanted black female illustrators to be used in this collection. That choice brings this stunning collection together with a beautiful bow. Some of my favorite illustrators are here (Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Pat Cummings, Ekua Holmes, and so many more!). This is another book I may need to revisit as I want to learn more about these poets and read more of their work.
First, the original poem by Anne Spencer:
Then the Golden Shovel poem by Nikki Grimes:
Then the illustration by the oh-so-talented Vashti Harrison (one of my favorite illustrations in the book):
The photograph doesn’t do the picture justice. Go read the book and look at the beauty of his picture there. It’s stunning.
And if you’re looking for more poetry fun this month, be sure to check out the Kidlitosphere Event Roundup!