Academic journal article Language Arts

One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance

Academic journal article Language Arts

One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance

Article excerpt

Written by Nikki Grimes

Illustrated by various artists

Bloomsbury, 2017, 128 pp., ISBN 978-1-61963-554-8

In a unique and novel collection, Nikki Grimes pays tribute to the brilliance of Harlem Renaissance writers while inspiring a new generation of poets. Grimes introduces readers to the newly created form of verse referred to as Golden Shovel, in which lines of poetry or entire poems are incorporated into new verse. The last word on each new line of poetry is taken, in order, from a previously written poem; reading down the right side of a stanza or full poem, one can reread the entire line as appropriated, or in some cases, the entire original poem. Grimes's new poems, anchored in the poetry of the past, give voice to the very real contemporary challenges that young people, particularly African Americans, wrestle with today. …

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