Cover Image: The Golden Shovel Anthology

The Golden Shovel Anthology

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Member Reviews

One aspect about the book is the whole idea of  the book is The Golden Shovel and Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000). The poetry from over 300 poems will grasp the readers attention with its imagery and formation of the poems. The words alone will speak heavy to the soul and the rhyme scheme is unbelievable. These outstanding poets did a wonderful job in honoring Brooks.
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A marvelous tribute with poetry that touches the heart and injects it with nostalgia, happiness, sadness, and emotions unknown. Loved it! Great job done by the compilers.
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This books brings pays homage to Gwendolyn Brooks whose poems became well-known during the Civil Rights Movement. It is a great addition to any poetry collection and useful for teachers who teach Brooks's work.
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While I think the Golden Shovel would be great for students in the classroom, overall, this anthology underwhelmed me
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What a spectacular tribute to the incomparable Gwendolyn Brooks! These poems captured vibrant emotions on an array of varied topics. Her legacy undeniably lives on with this.
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Text from National Poetry Month feature on Bustle.com: "Published by the University of Arkansas Press in February and edited by Peter Kahn, Ravi Shankar, and Patricia Smith, The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks is a hybrid collection of the poetry (or poetic excerpts) of Gwendolyn Brooks accompanied by new works of contemporary poets — recognized writers like Rita Dove, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Julia Alvarez, Joy Harjo, Tracy K. Smith, and Nikki Giovanni as well as the emerging work of high school and university students. Celebrating the life, writing, and poetic style of Brooks, The Golden Shovel Anthology is a gorgeous and celebratory collection that both longtime fans of Brooks and newcomers to her work will love."
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A powerful poetic tribute to Gwendolyn Brooks. A wonderful gift for the poets in your life.
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A few years ago Terrance Hayes published a poem called “The Golden Shovel”. Reading the last word of each line from top to bottom one realizes these words constitute Gwendolyne Brooks’s poem “We Real Cool”. Hayes thus created at once a new poetic form and a powerful homage to Brooks.

This year on June 7th Brooks, who was the first African American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950, would have turned 100 years old. What better year to publish a huge poetry anthology in her honour? The editors, Peter Kahn, Ravi Shankar, and Patricia Smith, brought together plenty of wonderful poets like Malika Booker, Kwame Dawes, and Rita Dove who used Hayes Golden Shovel form to write new poems taking lines or whole poems by Brooks as their foundation. The results are heartfelt, exciting, beautiful. The echo of Brooks is obviously strong, but each poet takes their work into a different direction. As a reader I especially loved to read poems which took the same lines but created so fundamentally different poems. Words, as this anthology seems to stress, can be re_assembled in so many ways, creating so many meanings. As in most bigger poetry collections some works will resonate more with you than others, but overall it is a strong collection showcasing different writers and reminding the reader of the timelessness of Brooks lines and her importance today.
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It breaks my heart to think that there is an entire generation (or two) of readers who haven't been blessed to know the brilliance of Gwendolyn Brooks. Despite her many accomplishments, I'm surprised by how few readers of contemporary poetry are familiar with her work. This is why the 'Golden Shovel Anthology' is so important; it honors Brooks's work by bringing together writers who admired and were inspired by her. Some of those who contributed are very well known; others are not. But each writer pays tribute to Brooks by using their own words to invoke her style and form.  It's a delicately written collection that pays tribute to one of my favorite poets, and creates necessary generational bonds.
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