by award winning author Nikki Grimes
Bloomsbury, January 2017
ISBN 978-1619635548

This artwork was hand carved on a linoleum plate and printed with oil based inks on rice paper.

In this collection of poetry, Nikki Grimes looks afresh at the poets of the Harlem Renaissance—including voices like Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, and many more writers of importance and resonance from this era—by combining their work with her own original poetry. Using “The Golden Shovel” poetic method, Grimes has written a collection of poetry that is as gorgeous as it is thought-provoking.

A foreword, an introduction to the history of the Harlem Renaissance, author’s note, poet biographies, and index makes this not only a book to cherish, but a wonderful resource and reference as well.

A Junior Library Guild Selection 2017
Kirkus starred review
Publishers Weekly starred review
SLJ starred review
BCCB starred review

Kirkus, starred review
“This striking, passionate anthology reminds young readers and adult fans of poetry alike that while black life remains “no crystal stair,” there remains reason to hope and a reserve of courage from which to draw

Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
“Using the Golden Shovel poetic form, which borrows words from another poem and uses them at the end of each line in a new piece, Grimes both includes and responds to works from poets of the Harlem Renaissance, including Gwendolyn Bennett, Countee Cullen, and Langston Hughes.

Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books, starred review
“Between the covers of this compact volume lies artistic, literary, sociocultural, and curricular gold.”

1 Comment

  1. Princess Dixon
    January 5, 2021

    I am glad to find out about illustrators such as yourself. My grand son submitted some drawings of sneakers he designed to a sports magazine but he never heard back from them. He has become discouraged and want even draw sneakers anymore. I thought of writing a book for him on being persistent and not giving up. My daughter is the same way. I found several hand written manuscripts that she wrote and never bothered to pursue publishing. She just gave up. I’m glad to see your work and the stories you help the authors bring to life.

    From the Flow of Your Drawing

    When I walk into a book shop.
    Yes those still exist somewhere, out there,
    Your carvings on the cover pulls me in,
    Like a fresh carved turkey breast on a bed of yellow rice.
    I want to take the book home with me and consume it,
    I want to see what life is hiding behind the carvings that got such a hold of me.


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