Which means, it’s time to wish our Readers Happy National Poetry Month!
The 30-day event, designated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, holds the title of the World’s Largest Literary Celebration.
FYI: Born June 7 in Topeka, Kansas in 1917 and a Southsider all her life, Gwendolyn Brooks served as Illinois’ Poet Laureate, our country’s official poetry consultant, was the first black writer to receive the Pulitzer Prize - for her collection Annie Allen in 1950, and dedicated her life to embracing and growing Young Chicago Authors. In 1945, her first published work, A Street in Bronzeville, chronicled the “everyday lives, aspiration and disappointments” of her Chicago neighbors.
Ronni Solbert illustrated the original edition. Faith Ringgold illustrated the 2015 reprint.
Each poem’s title bore a child’s name. GERTRUDE is one of my favorites.
“When I hear Marian Anderson sing,
I am a STUFFless kind of thing.
Heart is like the flying air.
I cannot find it anywhere.
Fingers tingle. I am cold
And warm and young and very old.
But, most, I am a STUFFless thing
When I hear Marian Anderson sing.”
Here’s how the Golden Shovel form works:
create a poem that honors Ms. Brooks’ spirit.
Hayes invited several well-known poets, including Mark Doty, Sharon Olds, Nikki Giovanni and Billy Collins, to create original Golden Shovel poems, then gathered them in his collection The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks.
Some have called this technique “something borrowed, something new.”
choose one for your Golden Shovel poem.
Happy (poetic) diggin’!
The Academy of American Poets sponsors 30 days/30 ways to celebrate National Poetry Month.
Congratulations to Ruth Spiro, winner of our Book Giveaway of Matthew Bird’s THE SECRETS OF STORY (Writer’s Digest, 2016)!