The Golden Shovel Anthology celebrates the life and work of poet and civil rights icon Gwendolyn Brooks through a dynamic new poetic form, the Golden Shovel, created by National Book Award-winner Terrance Hayes. The last words of each line in a Golden Shovel poem are, in order, words from a line or lines taken from a Brooks poem. The poems are, in a way, secretly encoded to enable both a horizontal reading of the new poem and vertical reading down the right-hand margin of Brooks's original. An array of writers-including Pulitzer Prize winners, T. S. Eliot Prize winners, National Book Award winners, and National Poet Laureates-have written poems for this exciting new anthology: Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Nikki Giovani, Sharon Olds, Tracy K. Smith, Mark Doty, Sharon Draper, and Julia Glass are just a few of the contributing poets. The poems found here will inspire a diversity of readers, teachers, and writers of poetry while at the same time providing remarkable access for newcomers, making it ideal for classrooms. The Golden Shovel Anthology will also honor Brooks with publication in 2017, the centenary of her birth.
"The Golden Shovel Anthology is quite simply a brilliant assembly of the work of poets I have admired for years and ones that I have just come to know and admire. I felt the thrill of creation reading it--the generative taking root, making me want to both read more and immerse myself in the form, in Brooks's poems, and then write my own as these poets have done with remarkable range. This is an anthology that will be of great value to readers and writers of poetry for generations to come--just as Gwendolyn Brooks was, and is. What a way to honor her memory, her generosity of spirit, and her tremendous contributions to American poetry."--Natasha Trethewey, former US poet laureate and winner of the Pulitzer Prize
Ravi Shankar is an award-winning poet, author, translator, and founding editor of Drunken Boat. His many books include Language for a New Century, Deepening Groove, and What Else Could it Be.