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Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance

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From Children's Literature Legacy Award-winning author Nikki Grimes comes a feminist-forward new collection of poetry celebrating the little-known women poets of the Harlem Renaissance--paired with full-color, original art from today's most talented female African-American illustrators. For centuries, accomplished women--of all races--have fallen out of the historical recor From Children's Literature Legacy Award-winning author Nikki Grimes comes a feminist-forward new collection of poetry celebrating the little-known women poets of the Harlem Renaissance--paired with full-color, original art from today's most talented female African-American illustrators. For centuries, accomplished women--of all races--have fallen out of the historical records. The same is true for gifted, prolific, women poets of the Harlem Renaissance who are little known, especially as compared to their male counterparts. In this poetry collection, bestselling author Nikki Grimes uses "The Golden Shovel" poetic method to create wholly original poems based on the works of these groundbreaking women-and to introduce readers to their work. Each poem is paired with one-of-a-kind art from today's most exciting female African-American illustrators: Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Cozbi A. Cabrera, Nina Crews, Pat Cummings, Laura Freeman, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Ebony Glenn, April Harrison, Vashti Harrison, Ekua Holmes, Cathy Ann Johnson, Keisha Morris, Daria Peoples-Riley, Andrea Pippins, Erin Robinson, Shadra Strickland, Nicole Tadgell, and Elizabeth Zunon. Legacy also includes a foreword, an introduction to the history of the Harlem Renaissance, author's note, and poet biographies, which make this a wonderful resource and a book to cherish. Acclaim for One Last Word A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor winner A New York Public Library Best Kids Book of the Year A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year, Middle Grade A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Nonfiction


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From Children's Literature Legacy Award-winning author Nikki Grimes comes a feminist-forward new collection of poetry celebrating the little-known women poets of the Harlem Renaissance--paired with full-color, original art from today's most talented female African-American illustrators. For centuries, accomplished women--of all races--have fallen out of the historical recor From Children's Literature Legacy Award-winning author Nikki Grimes comes a feminist-forward new collection of poetry celebrating the little-known women poets of the Harlem Renaissance--paired with full-color, original art from today's most talented female African-American illustrators. For centuries, accomplished women--of all races--have fallen out of the historical records. The same is true for gifted, prolific, women poets of the Harlem Renaissance who are little known, especially as compared to their male counterparts. In this poetry collection, bestselling author Nikki Grimes uses "The Golden Shovel" poetic method to create wholly original poems based on the works of these groundbreaking women-and to introduce readers to their work. Each poem is paired with one-of-a-kind art from today's most exciting female African-American illustrators: Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Cozbi A. Cabrera, Nina Crews, Pat Cummings, Laura Freeman, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Ebony Glenn, April Harrison, Vashti Harrison, Ekua Holmes, Cathy Ann Johnson, Keisha Morris, Daria Peoples-Riley, Andrea Pippins, Erin Robinson, Shadra Strickland, Nicole Tadgell, and Elizabeth Zunon. Legacy also includes a foreword, an introduction to the history of the Harlem Renaissance, author's note, and poet biographies, which make this a wonderful resource and a book to cherish. Acclaim for One Last Word A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor winner A New York Public Library Best Kids Book of the Year A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year, Middle Grade A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Nonfiction

30 review for Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance

  1. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    If you loved 'One Last Word,' you will be over the moon for this new poetry/art anthology from Nikki Grimes. Each Harlem Renaissance poem is paired with a Nikki Grimes poem written in the golden shovel style she does so well and accompanied by an original work of art that complements the two poems. In the last half of the book, short bios on the poets and artists are included. Reading these beautiful is like balm for the soul and the artwork fires up the imagination. My favorite poem is entitled If you loved 'One Last Word,' you will be over the moon for this new poetry/art anthology from Nikki Grimes. Each Harlem Renaissance poem is paired with a Nikki Grimes poem written in the golden shovel style she does so well and accompanied by an original work of art that complements the two poems. In the last half of the book, short bios on the poets and artists are included. Reading these beautiful is like balm for the soul and the artwork fires up the imagination. My favorite poem is entitled 'The Bronze Legacy (To A Brown Boy)' by Effie Lee Newsome, written in 1922: Tis a noble gift to be brown, all brown, Like the strongest things that make up this earth, Like the mountains grave and grand, Even like the very land, Even like the trunks of trees— Even oaks, to be like these! God builds His strength in bronze. To be brown like thrush and lark! Like the subtle wren so dark! Nay, the king of beasts wears brown; Eagles are of this same hue. I thank God, then, I am brown. Brown has mighty things to do. Thank you to Nikki Grimes, Bloomsbury Children's Books and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mid-Continent Public Library

    If you loved 'One Last Word,' you will be over the moon for this new poetry/art anthology from Nikki Grimes. Each Harlem Renaissance poem is paired with a Nikki Grimes poem written in the golden shovel style she does so well and accompanied by an original work of art that complements the two poems. In the last half of the book, short bios on the poets and artists are included. Reading these beautiful is like balm for the soul and the artwork fires up the imagination. My favorite poem is entitled If you loved 'One Last Word,' you will be over the moon for this new poetry/art anthology from Nikki Grimes. Each Harlem Renaissance poem is paired with a Nikki Grimes poem written in the golden shovel style she does so well and accompanied by an original work of art that complements the two poems. In the last half of the book, short bios on the poets and artists are included. Reading these beautiful is like balm for the soul and the artwork fires up the imagination. My favorite poem is entitled 'The Bronze Legacy (To A Brown Boy)' by Effie Lee Newsome, written in 1922: Tis a noble gift to be brown, all brown, Like the strongest things that make up this earth, Like the mountains grave and grand, Even like the very land, Even like the trunks of trees— Even oaks, to be like these! God builds His strength in bronze. To be brown like thrush and lark! Like the subtle wren so dark! Nay, the king of beasts wears brown; Eagles are of this same hue. I thank God, then, I am brown. Brown has mighty things to do. *Review by Darla from Red Bridge*

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Netgalley I'm super picky about poetry; really, the only modern poet I really like is Timothy Steele, who uses formulaic verse brilliantly. Naomi Shahib Nye is another one whose work I like (Amaze Me was fantastic), and I'm going to have to add Grimes' Legacy to this list. This is an interesting concept in poetry. Not only does Grimes collect poems from women writers who flourished during the Harlem Renaissance, she then takes the poems and writes her own in the "Golden Shovel" f E ARC provided by Netgalley I'm super picky about poetry; really, the only modern poet I really like is Timothy Steele, who uses formulaic verse brilliantly. Naomi Shahib Nye is another one whose work I like (Amaze Me was fantastic), and I'm going to have to add Grimes' Legacy to this list. This is an interesting concept in poetry. Not only does Grimes collect poems from women writers who flourished during the Harlem Renaissance, she then takes the poems and writes her own in the "Golden Shovel" format created by Terrance Hayes (https://www.writersdigest.com/write-b...). Since one of my favorite older poets is Edna St. Vincent Millay, it's interesting to see work by poets such as Alice Dunbar-Nelson and Angelina Weld Grimké who would have been her contemporaries. Definitely looking forward to having this for our yearly 7th grade language arts poetry project.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Allie

    This rating/review is based an advanced copy from Netgalley and Bloomsbury Children's Books. This book is absolutely tremendous! I read Nikki Grimes' One Last Word a few years ago and I was really impressed by the poetic form, but it felt a bit uneven. This collection uses that same poetic form and completely blew me away. Every single poem is so strong and the source material Grimes is working from is incredible. I am absolutely going to look up every single one of these poets and read more of t This rating/review is based an advanced copy from Netgalley and Bloomsbury Children's Books. This book is absolutely tremendous! I read Nikki Grimes' One Last Word a few years ago and I was really impressed by the poetic form, but it felt a bit uneven. This collection uses that same poetic form and completely blew me away. Every single poem is so strong and the source material Grimes is working from is incredible. I am absolutely going to look up every single one of these poets and read more of their work! This book features quite a few illustrations that are absolutely breathtaking, and most of them are absolutely lovely. There were a few that are still to come, and the illustrator bios are also TK so I will 100% be picking up the print version to see who did my favorite illustrations and read more about the amazing contributors. Everything about this is so wonderful, I can't wait until it hits shelves and I can book talk it into the hands of every kid I see.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alex Baugh

    A number of things came together in creating this volume of poems. First, there were a number of relatively unknown women poets writing during the Harlem Renaissance, that period beginning in 1918 through the min-1930s when African American arts flourished. Second, there is the relatively new poetic form devised by poet Terrance Hayne called the Golden Shovel. Third, there is the incomparable poet Nikki Grimes. Put together, the result is Legacy, a collection of poems by African American women p A number of things came together in creating this volume of poems. First, there were a number of relatively unknown women poets writing during the Harlem Renaissance, that period beginning in 1918 through the min-1930s when African American arts flourished. Second, there is the relatively new poetic form devised by poet Terrance Hayne called the Golden Shovel. Third, there is the incomparable poet Nikki Grimes. Put together, the result is Legacy, a collection of poems by African American women poets who are celebrated in new contemporary poems by Nikki Grimes utilizing the Golden Shovel form, connecting today's readers with these Black feminist writers across time and space. Legacy begins with a poem by Nikki Grimes in the voice of a young girl, whose teacher is telling her that she needs to find her "girl power," that it is "Time you learn/ a little history./ The women in our race/ have always gone/ from strength to strength." She then hands her three books on the Harlem Renaissance. The young girl's journey begins by reading Part I of Legacy called "Heritage," followed by Part II "Mother Earth" and Part III "Taking Notice." The books then ends with a poem called "Journey's End," giving her thoughts about what she has read and that has changed her. There are 19 poems by women of the Harlem Renaissance, such as Anne Spencer, Mae V. Cowdery, and Blanche Taylor Dickinson, among others. Their poetry reflects the historical times in which they as Black women lived and wrote. Each one of the 19 poems is paired with a poem by Nikki Grimes reflecting today's world and Black women's response to it. Added to these poems are 19 original illustrations beautifully paired with each poem set. These are by such esteemed artists as Ekua Holmes, Ebony Glenn, Vashti Harrison and others and are done in bold full color using various medians. Front matter includes a Preface, information about The Harlem Renaissance, and the Poetry Form used. Back matter includes a short biography of each poet, a short biography of each artist, a list of Sources, print and digital, and an Index. It only seemed appropriate to end Women's History Month 2021 with this collection of feminist oriented poetry. I hope you are as moved by these poets, past and present, as I am. This book is recommended for readers age 10+ This book was an eARC gratefully received from NetGalley

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alicia (PrettyBrownEyeReader)

    This children’s book introduces young readers to lesser known Harlem Renaissance poets. The focus is on women poets of that time who have not received recognition as their male contemporaries. The selections of poems are excellent in their use of imagery, rhythm and other poetic devices. Nikki Grimes displays her creativity by using the Golden Shovel method to create a poem from a line in the Harlem Renaissance era. It is a way from Grimes and young readers to have a conversation with poets of t This children’s book introduces young readers to lesser known Harlem Renaissance poets. The focus is on women poets of that time who have not received recognition as their male contemporaries. The selections of poems are excellent in their use of imagery, rhythm and other poetic devices. Nikki Grimes displays her creativity by using the Golden Shovel method to create a poem from a line in the Harlem Renaissance era. It is a way from Grimes and young readers to have a conversation with poets of the past. This book also has gorgeous artwork to accompany the poem selection. I was given the opportunity to review an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    This book is a treasure. Usually I buy books and pass them on to a teacher friend. She's not getting this one. I need to read again, to sink into these poems, into the lives of these forgotten poets. And into Grimes's Golden Shovel poems. Oh, and the original art!! The beautiful art. Forgotten female poets of the Harlem Renaissance...women with towering talent, who shined for a while, and then seemed to slide back into a more mundane world. They left the high-powered world of artists and became te This book is a treasure. Usually I buy books and pass them on to a teacher friend. She's not getting this one. I need to read again, to sink into these poems, into the lives of these forgotten poets. And into Grimes's Golden Shovel poems. Oh, and the original art!! The beautiful art. Forgotten female poets of the Harlem Renaissance...women with towering talent, who shined for a while, and then seemed to slide back into a more mundane world. They left the high-powered world of artists and became teachers, librarians. They lived real lives, but their art was forgotten. I flipped back and forth from the poems to the biographies of the poets...and I realized many -- a dozen-- were still living when I was born. Our dates overlap. They should have been read in my high school and college classes. They weren't. Grimes has given the world a gift with these poets. She dug out emotional, strong, evocative poems and had them illustrated, and pulled out one strong line to rework as a Golden Shovel. I'm just in awe of this book. I'll keep it close to reread.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tina Athaide

    This book is a treasure and introduces readers to the many outstanding women of the Harlem Renaissance. Nikki Grimes combines poetry from the Harlem Renaissance with her own poetry to create a story of a girl discovering forgotten African American women poets . What makes this collection unique is that Grimes uses the Golden Shovel method to create her own poems while also introducing other forms of poetry. The Golden Shovel method is where you take a short poem in its entirety, or a line or wor This book is a treasure and introduces readers to the many outstanding women of the Harlem Renaissance. Nikki Grimes combines poetry from the Harlem Renaissance with her own poetry to create a story of a girl discovering forgotten African American women poets . What makes this collection unique is that Grimes uses the Golden Shovel method to create her own poems while also introducing other forms of poetry. The Golden Shovel method is where you take a short poem in its entirety, or a line or words from a poem, to create a new poem using those words from the original. At the end of the book, Grimes provides a biography about each woman recognized in the book. It gives this collection further authenticity to read about the inspiring stories of these women and the impact they made during that time. Merit: The gorgeous illustrations add another layer of beauty to this poetry collection. Verdict: This is one of those books we should have in all of our school libraries.. Thank you Netgalley and Bloomsbury Children's Books for the e-ARC.

  9. 5 out of 5

    izzy

    Gorgeously illustrated, it's most successful as a curated collection of Harlem Renaissance women poets; the author's 'remixes' are pretty hit or miss. Gorgeously illustrated, it's most successful as a curated collection of Harlem Renaissance women poets; the author's 'remixes' are pretty hit or miss.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Katrina

    A poetic gem. I would give this to anyone who has an interest in poetry. Loved the formatting, the history, and the art!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Glatt

    Reviewing for SLC--more on this excellent poetry book later

  12. 4 out of 5

    Afoma (Reading Middle Grade)

    I really liked this collection of poems. I thought they were very cleverly drawn from poems by women poets of the Harlem Renaissance. The poems are about womanhood, blackness and the intersection of both identities. This book would work for both middle-grade and adult audiences. If you enjoy real poetry, I would highly recommend. Thanks to Bloomsbury for an eARC of this book (my first Nikki Grimes's) via Netgalley! I really liked this collection of poems. I thought they were very cleverly drawn from poems by women poets of the Harlem Renaissance. The poems are about womanhood, blackness and the intersection of both identities. This book would work for both middle-grade and adult audiences. If you enjoy real poetry, I would highly recommend. Thanks to Bloomsbury for an eARC of this book (my first Nikki Grimes's) via Netgalley!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence from the preface: For centuries, accomplished women, of all races, have fallen out of the historical records. In the music realm, for example, we’ve long known and lauded the name and compositions of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but few are familiar with his equally gifted sister, Maria Anna Mozart, an accomplished instrumentalist and composer in her own right. In the sciences, we were taught the names of astronauts like John Glenn, but few could recite the names of early NASA scienti First sentence from the preface: For centuries, accomplished women, of all races, have fallen out of the historical records. In the music realm, for example, we’ve long known and lauded the name and compositions of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but few are familiar with his equally gifted sister, Maria Anna Mozart, an accomplished instrumentalist and composer in her own right. In the sciences, we were taught the names of astronauts like John Glenn, but few could recite the names of early NASA scientists, mathematicians, and engineers like Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Christine Darden, who helped to make Glenn’s successful orbit of the earth possible. It took the Oscar-nominated Hollywood movie Hidden Figures, based on a book by Margot Lee Shetterly, to bring these groundbreaking women to light. Going further back in time, Hatshepsut, the only female pharaoh, all but disappeared from history until recent years. It should come as no surprise, then, that the names of gifted, even prolific, women poets of the Harlem Renaissance are little known, especially as compared to their male counterparts. Premise/plot: Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance is a companion to her poetry collection, One Last Word. In this collection--told within a framework of a young girl discovering women poets of the Harlem Renaissance--readers read classic poems from the Harlem Renaissance and new poems by Nikki Grimes. Grimes uses the poetic format Golden Shovel. It includes poems by the following writers: Mae V. Cowdery, Helene Johnson, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Clarissa Scott Delany, Angelina Weld Grimké, Gertrude Parthenia McBrown , Anne Spencer, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Ida Rowland, Esther Popel, Effie Lee Newsome, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Blanche Taylor Dickinson, Lucy Ariel Williams, and Gwendolyn Bennett. My thoughts: I loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, LOVED this collection. I loved reading the older poems. I loved Grimes' new poems as well. I'd describe the collection as exquisite, compelling, wonderful. I read an ARC of the book. (It's not due to be published until 2021 according to GoodReads). My favorite poem is Prelude by Lucy Ariel Williams. I know how a volcano must feel with molten lava Smoldering in its breast. Tonight thoughts, wild thoughts, Are smoldering In the very depths Of my being. I would hold them within me If I could. I would give them form If I could. I would make of them Something beautiful If I could. But they will not be formed; They will not be shaped. I must pour them out thus, Like molten lava. Shape them into beautiful dreams If you can. I know how a volcano must feel.

  14. 4 out of 5

    C.

    4.5 rounded up. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy of this work to review. This book took a different turn than I expected, I had anticipated it being entirely poetry written during the Harlem Renaissance. Instead the poetry of the author was interspersed with poetry from women during the Harlem Renaissance and when I found this rhythm I discovered that it was an excellent way to cross past and present. The poems feel relevant and fresh, and the way the two work together increases t 4.5 rounded up. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy of this work to review. This book took a different turn than I expected, I had anticipated it being entirely poetry written during the Harlem Renaissance. Instead the poetry of the author was interspersed with poetry from women during the Harlem Renaissance and when I found this rhythm I discovered that it was an excellent way to cross past and present. The poems feel relevant and fresh, and the way the two work together increases this feeling. Add a contextual historical essay at the beginning, and the biographical profiles at the end, and the book provides a solid picture of this poetry and the women who created them and time that it was created in. The art chosen illustrates the poetry well and all in all I would consider this an excellent selection for children’s or youth poetry collections. Beautiful collection and will be recommending this to several of our libraries.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lois Young

    When you think about the Harlem Renaissance, how many women can you name? Most people would name Lorraine Hansberry (playwright of "A Raisin in the Sun"). This collection edited by poet Nikki Grimes is a praise to the women who contributed to this essential movement one hundred years ago. Alternating between Grimes' poetry (and the illustrations) and poems by other modern female poets, are poems by Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Esther Popel (read "Flag Salute"), Angelina Weld Grimke (a relative of the fa When you think about the Harlem Renaissance, how many women can you name? Most people would name Lorraine Hansberry (playwright of "A Raisin in the Sun"). This collection edited by poet Nikki Grimes is a praise to the women who contributed to this essential movement one hundred years ago. Alternating between Grimes' poetry (and the illustrations) and poems by other modern female poets, are poems by Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Esther Popel (read "Flag Salute"), Angelina Weld Grimke (a relative of the famous abolitionists), and several more. The poems reflect the themes of racism and femininity of both the past and the present, which presents how not much has changed during the last century. Regardless, the poems are meaningful and enjoyable. P.S. Anyone who enjoyed Amanda Gorman's inaugural poem (Inauguration Day 2021) should read this collection.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    A beautiful illustration of how literature from a previous era can resonate with modern readers and writers. Grimes uses the Golden Shovel form to create new poems that engage with works from the Harlem Renaissance. This form takes a short poem, or a line from a longer poem, to create a new work that includes words from the original (explanation from Grimes’ author’s note). Grimes engages with female poets of the Harlem Renaissance. As she notes in a preface, many Americans know the names of the A beautiful illustration of how literature from a previous era can resonate with modern readers and writers. Grimes uses the Golden Shovel form to create new poems that engage with works from the Harlem Renaissance. This form takes a short poem, or a line from a longer poem, to create a new work that includes words from the original (explanation from Grimes’ author’s note). Grimes engages with female poets of the Harlem Renaissance. As she notes in a preface, many Americans know the names of the Harlem Renaissance’s male poets: Cullen, Dunbar, Hughes. I regret to say I hadn’t heard of most of these women, but I applaud Grimes for introducing them to young readers. As a children’s librarian, it will be my pleasure to put this book in the hands of students in middle school and up.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy

    I'm not a huge poetry reader, but this book caught my eye. Even more than the poetry, I think I enjoyed the illustrations that accompanied each poem. Grimes uses the Golden Shovel methodology for her poems, taking a line from each of the featured Harlem Renaissance poems and creating her own poem. I was not familiar with this approach, and I find it fascinating. As with most collections, be it short stories or poems, I really enjoyed some more than others. My biggest frustration was that the inf I'm not a huge poetry reader, but this book caught my eye. Even more than the poetry, I think I enjoyed the illustrations that accompanied each poem. Grimes uses the Golden Shovel methodology for her poems, taking a line from each of the featured Harlem Renaissance poems and creating her own poem. I was not familiar with this approach, and I find it fascinating. As with most collections, be it short stories or poems, I really enjoyed some more than others. My biggest frustration was that the information about the Harlem Renaissance poets and the illustrators was all placed in the back of the book, so once I'd read the poems, I had to go back and place the information with the poem and illustration. There was no identification on the artworks of title or artist, and I found myself really wanting to know who created these rich pieces of art long before I reached the end of the book. This is a book I will likely go back to revisit when I have more time.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    The "rules" of Golden Shovel: grab a striking line from a poem, or for short poems, take it in its entirety. Bold that striking line or poem. Arrange that striking line or poem in a line, word by word, in the right margin You then create. your new poem, keeping the borrowed line or poem as the last words of each line The result is a lovely call and response from the ancestors to Ms. Grimes and back again. What a fabulous homage to these, until now, forgotten names that sit equal to Langston Hughes, The "rules" of Golden Shovel: grab a striking line from a poem, or for short poems, take it in its entirety. Bold that striking line or poem. Arrange that striking line or poem in a line, word by word, in the right margin You then create. your new poem, keeping the borrowed line or poem as the last words of each line The result is a lovely call and response from the ancestors to Ms. Grimes and back again. What a fabulous homage to these, until now, forgotten names that sit equal to Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Paul Laurence Dunbar.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    This young reader book is about the little known women poets of the Harlem Renaissance. The author uses The Golden Shovel method to create her poems based on the poems of these women. I love that each poem has an illustration from female African American illustrators.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Exceptional all the way through. The poetry selections, the original poetry, the artwork are all amazing and put together so well. I love the style of the Golden Shovel and Grimes then crafts poetry based on the originals she chose. The story she weaves from those and her poems as well as the accompanying art is moving!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Eric Hinkle

    Very important book, as many of these writers are hard to come by. Their voices demand to not be forgotten. Grimes responds to each poem with a poem of her own, accompanied by a slew of Black women illustrations. The whole package is gorgeous, so well done.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Zannini

    This was an amazing book. I already purchased this for my library and it is one that ties in with the standards for teachers, but with content that readers desire. One that I highly recommend!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Arlen

    As an intriguing exercise in poetry, this volume hits the mark. I can't wait to show it to the teacher in my school who teaches poetry and runs the poetry club. Nikki's use of the "Golden Shovel" technique of writing poems using words from others' poems is something that will feel very accessible to our high school students. That being said, Nikki described the Golden Shovel technique as using each word chosen from one line of another's poem as the last word in a line of original poetry; it does As an intriguing exercise in poetry, this volume hits the mark. I can't wait to show it to the teacher in my school who teaches poetry and runs the poetry club. Nikki's use of the "Golden Shovel" technique of writing poems using words from others' poems is something that will feel very accessible to our high school students. That being said, Nikki described the Golden Shovel technique as using each word chosen from one line of another's poem as the last word in a line of original poetry; it doesn't look like Nikki followed her own definition -- although it could be that by reading the book on a Kindle, I couldn't properly see the line breaks. Regardless, introducing or reintroducing the poems of these women from the Harlem Renaissance is worth the publication in itself. Add Nikki's additions, and we benefit from time and perspective, culture and experience. My intention of providing the next part of my review in a somewhat interpretive way is not to sway your own opinions of the poetry itself, but instead to provide the way I interpreted the collection as a teaching tool as much as a book of poetry. My favorite poem was Alice Dunbar-Nelson's "I Sit and Sew." It feels very "of a time." Nikki's corresponding poem, "Room for Dreams," makes for an interesting comparison of the culture of a time. I felt the same parallel of a universal theme moving across time with Clarissa Scott Delany's "Joy" and Nikki's Leah's "Reunion." On the other hand, I perceived the pairing of Gertrude Parthenia McBrown's "Jehovah's Gesture" as an opposite to Nikki's "Judgment." Nikki even says in the introduction that her challenge was to make sense of and not just be derivative of the original poet's words. There are a few poem pairs that are a bit too similar, but is that really a problem? A shared experience doesn't lessen the experience for any individual. Plus, it's as interesting to see the similarities of culture in spite of the passing of time as it is to experience the opposites that arise from the same words used in different ways. One of the beautiful poems included in this collection is Effie Lee Newsome's "The Bronze Legacy (to a Brown Boy)." In this case, Nikki's corresponding poem did not augment or improve upon the original one. I felt the same about "Prelude" by Lucy Ariel Williams; Nikki's "Slow Burn" felt too derivative. Given the modern push toward PC language, I found "Advice" by Gwendolyn Bennett and Nikki's "Brown Poems" to reveal the irony of either choosing pale words to write dark poems or using the brown way of saying what the pale one said. That, and the push for PC isn't so modern. Structurally, I understand why this would first be a book of poetry and then a contextual history volume. However, for many of us, the poems out-of-context from the poet leave gaps in the ability to relate, interpret, or visualize the context of the poem. To that I'd suggest introducing each poem set with the biography of the poet rather than grouping the biographies at the end. Including the index is a real plus for making this book a useful teaching tool. This is 4 ⭐ as a teaching tool, 3 ⭐ as a book of poetry.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mark Robison

    When I read the introduction to this book, I thought there was no way it could work. The author shows a poem from an obscure female poet of the Harlem Renaissance (around the 1920s) and then includes a poem she wrote that was inspired by the first poem. Only her poem isn't just inspired by the first one, it's almost like a baton-pass to future generations. She takes a line from the previous poem and then uses each word from that line in order but not next to each other in her new poem. I'm not s When I read the introduction to this book, I thought there was no way it could work. The author shows a poem from an obscure female poet of the Harlem Renaissance (around the 1920s) and then includes a poem she wrote that was inspired by the first poem. Only her poem isn't just inspired by the first one, it's almost like a baton-pass to future generations. She takes a line from the previous poem and then uses each word from that line in order but not next to each other in her new poem. I'm not sure that makes sense, but it's called The Golden Shovel technique, and again, I was skeptical to say the least. The obscure poems are uniformly excellent and so are the author's original poems. If that weren't enough, there's artwork with each poem in the Harlem Renaissance style that is magnificent. In my advanced reader copy, not all the art was there -- but I loved it enough that I will buy the book when it comes out. But wait, there's more! There are brief but interesting bios of each poet at the end. These were some remarkable women! I am so glad I got to learn about them, read their words, and see how they can be an inspiration today. Just fantastic. One poem especially blew me away -- it's called "Flag Salute" by Esther Popel where Popel alternates lines of the Pledge of Allegiance with the story of a "feeble-minded black boy" being lynched. The final lines describing the boy being set afire with gasoline and the rope being cut into bits to pass out as souvenirs to the white spectators while "With Liberty and Justice for all" is invoked ... well, it still takes my breath away. My god. If there's a better argument for why the phrase "All lives matter" is problematic, I'd be hard pressed to think of it. So here's an excerpt. As in the book itself, I've bolded the line that's used in the second poem and the words as they are reconfigured so you can see how the Golden Shovel technique works. JOY by Clarissa Scott Delany Joy shakes me like the wind that lifts a sail, Like the roistering wind That laughs through stalwart pines. It floods me like the sun On rain-drenched tress That flash with silver and green. I abandon myself to joy -- I laugh -- I sing. Too long have I walked a desolate way, Too long stumbled down a maze Bewildered. LEAH'S REUNION by Nikki Grimes "Yearly, I join the celebration of womanjoy: the blessing of unchecked tears when calamity shakes us, or when beauty surprises; the comfort of sisters cradling me when Death slithers into the neighborhood, like a rattler, striking yet another sweet son, the promise of him broken. But there is also the cleansing wind of deep belly laughter as we gather round that love-worn kitchen table, likcking morsels of each story that lifts us Without this maternal crew's guidance, a brown girl like me would simply be adrift. No wind. No sail. P.S. This is labeled a "children's book." I think some may love this, but to me, adults will love this more. #NetGalley

  25. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    In this poetic companion to her previous One Last Word focusing on poets from the Harlem Renaissance, the inimitable Nikki Grimes highlights forgotten or little-known female voices from the same time period. She includes 21 of her own original poems alongside 19 of theirs. The amount of research, writing, and creativity that went into crafting these poems as well as finding and amplifying these poetic voices is impressive. I tend to look for books that tell the stories of those hidden historic o In this poetic companion to her previous One Last Word focusing on poets from the Harlem Renaissance, the inimitable Nikki Grimes highlights forgotten or little-known female voices from the same time period. She includes 21 of her own original poems alongside 19 of theirs. The amount of research, writing, and creativity that went into crafting these poems as well as finding and amplifying these poetic voices is impressive. I tend to look for books that tell the stories of those hidden historic or creative figures, who sometimes quietly observed the events around them or sometimes shouted for notice. While the original poems from which Grimes distills her own poems, using the same challenging Golden Shovel technique she used in One Last Word, are challenging, many of those lines and poems will resonate with readers today, perhaps reminding them of the sacrifices that were made in the past as well as how individuals coped [for example, in "Heritage," "Our dark fathers gave us / The gift of shedding sorrow / in a song" (p. 15),] which enhances this collection. But the way Grimes uses words from the original poems written during the Harlem Renaissance to craft her own poems is impressive. Each line resonates and may help readers feel empowered and as though she sees things that others miss or don't hear [for example, in "Taking Notice," she writes..."invisible in a world where the old / weigh less than vapor, whether man or woman. / Upright or curled on the cracked sidewalk with /newspaper for a blanket, the homeless, weary, / go unseen, save for the stray dogs that lick their feet" (p. 68)] Many of her poems will resonate with readers today as they try to find and use their own voices, despite the naysayers in their lives. There isn't a single Grimes poem or a poem from those who inspired her that didn't make me think about the current political and environmental conditions or feel gratitude for the strong women in my life [As she writes in "Leah's Reunion," "...there is also the cleansing wind / of deep belly laughter as we gather round that / love-worn kitchen table, licking morsels of each story that lifts / us. Without this maternal crew's guidance, a / brown girl like me would simply be adrift. No wind. No sail" (p. 28)}. She closes with a thank you to these writers, our foremothers, by saying, "They lift me / from the smallness / of others' / expectations, /reminding me / that I am more / than anyone /gives me credit for" (p. 95). Not only does the book give recognition to silenced voices, but it celebrates a plethora of artists and artistic techniques by some well-known and some emerging artists. Anyone looking for inspiration to write or to keep on keeping on will find it in these lines and illustrations.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Pine Reads Review

    “Time you learn / a little history. / The women in our race / have always gone / from strength to strength. / Let me introduce you to / a few women who can teach you / what I mean.” (From “Opening Poem” by Nikki Grimes) Experience the largely unsung voices of the women poets of the Harlem Renaissance in this new collection of breathtaking poetry from Nikki Grimes. Despite their unparalleled artistry and brilliance, these women have seldom been met with the same visibility as their male counterpar “Time you learn / a little history. / The women in our race / have always gone / from strength to strength. / Let me introduce you to / a few women who can teach you / what I mean.” (From “Opening Poem” by Nikki Grimes) Experience the largely unsung voices of the women poets of the Harlem Renaissance in this new collection of breathtaking poetry from Nikki Grimes. Despite their unparalleled artistry and brilliance, these women have seldom been met with the same visibility as their male counterparts. Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance seeks to remedy this historical erasure by introducing readers to these masterful women and their work. Following each original poem from artists like Helene Johnson, Anne Spencer, and so many more, are new pieces from Nikki Grimes inspired by the former. Using the “Golden Shovel” method, Grimes creates fresh poems which include lines or fragments from the works of these women poets. Accompanied by gorgeous artwork from current celebrated Black women illustrators, this selection of revolutionary poetry can’t be missed. All I can say is…wow. From start to finish, Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance is a stunning work of art, history, and voice. With a foreword from Grimes, an introduction to the Harlem Renaissance and the Gold Shovel form, followed by three sections of poetry and artwork, which are then capped off by poet and illustrator biographies, reading this collection was a transformative experience. Some of my favorite poems include “Room for Dreams,” “Judgement,” and “Flag Salute,” though it’s extremely difficult to choose as every single page, poem, and illustration deserves celebration in its own right. Legacy is a fantastic introduction to the women’s voices of the Harlem Renaissance, both commemorating and inspiring readers to learn more about their groundbreaking artistic contributions. Content Warnings: discussions of racism, misogyny, colonialism, and slavery (Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing us with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.) Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @pinereadsreview and check out our website at www.pinereadsreview.com for reviews, interviews, blogs, podcast episodes, and more!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cheriee Weichel

    Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. It will be released January 5, 2021, by Bloomsbury Children's Books. Nikki Grimes honours and inspires all Black girls and woman in this gorgeous compendium. I am inspired and honoured to be able to review it. I've preordered my own copy. You will want to do the same. This swoon-worthy anthology is a celebration of Black womanhood. It is pure pleasure to be introduced to women poets of the Harlem Renaissance and modern Black w Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. It will be released January 5, 2021, by Bloomsbury Children's Books. Nikki Grimes honours and inspires all Black girls and woman in this gorgeous compendium. I am inspired and honoured to be able to review it. I've preordered my own copy. You will want to do the same. This swoon-worthy anthology is a celebration of Black womanhood. It is pure pleasure to be introduced to women poets of the Harlem Renaissance and modern Black woman painters through it. The compilation is organized into four sections. Part 1, Heritage, includes poems that reflect Black women's history. Part 2, Earth Mother, references poets' connections to their environment. Part 2, Taking Notice, deals with the social and political reality of today. Part 4, The Resources section includes short biographies of the poets and illustrators whose work is included in this anthology. There is also a bibliography and an index. The first three sections are formatted into numerous vignettes composed of three parts. An original poem is presented by one of these poets with a small part highlighted. Grimes uses these highlighted sections to create golden shovel poems. Each poetic pairing is accompanied by a painting that reflects the substance of the paired poems and ties it all together. Each little vignette creates a space of beauty to lose yourself in. See for yourself in this example from the second section: I envision all kinds of uses for this book in schools and wish I was still teaching so I could use it as mentor text for part of a poetry unit. Like a child in a candy shop, I highlighted and bookmarked almost too many sections to pick just one to share with you. There are lines like Grimes' Make each stanza strut in response to Gwendolyn Bennett's poem, Advice. I dare you to read the book yourself and try and pick just one best part. I leave you with these final words from Journey's End, her poem of thankfulness, They lift me from the smallness of other's expectations, reminding me that I am more than anyone gives me credit for. Purchase at least one copy for your school library.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mia | The Bookish Feminist

    Nikki Grimes has done it again! "Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance" is a stunning collection of poems written by people whose voices are all too often left out of our discussion and exploration of the Harlem Renaissance. The women of the Harlem Renaissance have not been taught or highlighted as much as their male counterparts, a mirror of so many different elements of our society. Nikki Grimes set out to curate a collection of works from women who were part of this movement of writer Nikki Grimes has done it again! "Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance" is a stunning collection of poems written by people whose voices are all too often left out of our discussion and exploration of the Harlem Renaissance. The women of the Harlem Renaissance have not been taught or highlighted as much as their male counterparts, a mirror of so many different elements of our society. Nikki Grimes set out to curate a collection of works from women who were part of this movement of writers, artists, and musicians but who were not often included in the conversation. The collection is laid out in three different parts: Heritage, Earth Mother, and Taking Notice. The themes of identity, environment, and activism are prominent and powerful. A really unique addition to this collection, however, is Grimes' employment of the Golden Shovel. Essentially, she takes one line from each poem and creates her own poem, with each line ending with one of the words from that phrase. So, in addition to the poetry from legends like Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Jessie Redmon Fauset, and Esther Popel, we also get to read Grimes' poetic response to or elaboration on each one. It's a masterpiece that will allow younger readers the chance not only to see how important Black womxn's voices were during the Harlem Renaissance, but also how important they continue to be. This is a collection that shows us that we can honor the past while not ignoring the future. It is a collection that truly celebrates Black writers, Black communities, and Black futures. I cannot recommend this collection enough! Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the advance e-copy of Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Paige

    Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance is a beautiful book--a testament to the creativity of Black women both past and present. Nikki Grimes has gathered a beautiful collection of poems by 15 Black female poets from the Harlem Renaissance, poets largely erased from the greater literary canon. These poems are in turns haunting, inspiring, heart-breaking, and hopeful. Families. Nature. Death. Life. Creation. I was constantly picking my jaw up off the floor and wiping tears from my eyes. The Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance is a beautiful book--a testament to the creativity of Black women both past and present. Nikki Grimes has gathered a beautiful collection of poems by 15 Black female poets from the Harlem Renaissance, poets largely erased from the greater literary canon. These poems are in turns haunting, inspiring, heart-breaking, and hopeful. Families. Nature. Death. Life. Creation. I was constantly picking my jaw up off the floor and wiping tears from my eyes. The poets captured so many emotions and experiences with their words, and I felt blessed to read them. Showcased alongside these poems are poems written by Grimes herself, using a form of poetry known as the Golden Shovel, wherein a line or stanza from an original poem is used to craft a new poem, using each word from the line or stanza as the final word in each new line. Grimes’ ability to work within such a structure and create not just sensical but powerful poems of her own highlights her exceptional talent. And if this weren’t enough to make the book truly spectacular, the poems are accompanied by one-of-a-kind illustrations, all by modern Black female artists. I will be purchasing a finished copy of this book first because it’s a treasure, and second because I am excited to introduce both my children and the students I work with to these poets and their works. Nikki Grimes has provided us with more than a book of poetry. She has included an overview of the Harlem Renaissance and biographies of each poet featured in the collection, to make this a comprehensive educational experience as well as an emotional one. Thank you so much to Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books and NetGalley for an e-ARC in exchange for this honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I cannot imagine NOT having this marvelous new book by Nikki Grimes on my bookshelf or in my classroom, or as a gift for someone. She has researched and found poems from women poets from the Harlem Renaissance, shared the poem, and her chosen "strike line" to use in her own poem. The "strike line", FYI, is the line where each word ends a line in a poem form termed a "Golden Shovel" originated by Terrance Hayes. Nikki used this form to write two previous books, One Last Word: Wisdom from the Har I cannot imagine NOT having this marvelous new book by Nikki Grimes on my bookshelf or in my classroom, or as a gift for someone. She has researched and found poems from women poets from the Harlem Renaissance, shared the poem, and her chosen "strike line" to use in her own poem. The "strike line", FYI, is the line where each word ends a line in a poem form termed a "Golden Shovel" originated by Terrance Hayes. Nikki used this form to write two previous books, One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance and the picture book The Watcher, illustrated by Bryan Collier. This book is divided into three sections with the themes of Heritage, Earth Mother, and Taking Notice. An exceptional addition is that each two-poem part is illustrated by a different artist. I marked a few favorites. The first is "Joy" by Clarissa Scott Delany, celebrating that emotion "like the roistering wind/That laughs through stalwart pines." Nikki uses another line from this poem and writes of "Leah's Reunion" when "Without this maternal crew's guidance, a/brown girl like me would simply be adrift." I adored the celebration in "Rondeau" by Jessie Redmon Fauset and Nikki's "Tara Takes on Montclair" where she writes of a girl who cannot understand why "folks want me to see "the countryside" and where that girl discovers trees and cousins suggest "Let's head for the woods!" There are more and more poems to love and extensive resources that include a table of contents, a preface, pages about the poem form, and the Harlem Renaissance. Found at the back are poet biographies, artist biographies, acknowledgments, sources, and an index. I loved every page.

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