Poets David Baker, Sharon Draper, Amit Majmudar, and Lee Martin will read from highly acclaimed The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks. Peter Kahn, Ravi Shankar, and Patricia Smith served as editors and contributors; Kahn will also be a reader. Former US poet laureate and winner of the Pulitzer Prize Natasha Trethewey called it a “brilliant assembly” of work that “will be of great value to readers and writers of poetry for generations to come—just as Gwendolyn Brooks was, and is.”
National Book Award winner Terrance Hayes is the inventor of the Golden Shovel form, and is also featured in this anthology. 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. The array of writers who have written poems for this exciting new anthology include Pulitzer Prize winners, T. S. Eliot Prize winners, National Book Award winners, and National Poet Laureates. In addition to those reading at Gramercy, contributing poets include: Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Nikki Giovani, Sharon Olds, Tracy K. Smith, Mark Doty, and Julia Glass.
NY Times poetry editor, Matthew Zapruder recently named The Golden Shovel Anthology as one of seven “timeless collections,” alongside the likes of Pablo Neruda, John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara and W.S. Merwin.
Young Peoples Poet Laureate and National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson made it her April “Book Pick” and writes, “…there is something in this book for everyone, no matter your age or interests.”
Booklist calls it "a substantial and dynamic contribution to American literature."
Peter Kahn is a founding member of the London poetry collective Malika’s Kitchen. A high school teacher at Oak Park/River Forest High School since 1994, Peter was a Featured Speaker at the National Council of Teachers of English annual convention. As a Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths-University of London, he founded the Spoken Word Education Training Programme. Peter holds an MA in English Education from The Ohio State University and recently earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University.
David Baker has lived in Ohio since 1983. He currently serves as Poetry Editor of “The Kenyon Review” and Professor of English at Denison University in Granville. He is author of seventeen books of poetry and prose, including “Scavenger Loop” (W. W. Norton, poems), “Show Me Your Environment” (Univ. of Michigan, essays), and the forthcoming “Seek After: Seven Modern Lyric Poets” (Stephen F. Austin Univ. Press).
Sharon Draper is the author of more than thirty award-winning books, including Out of My Mind, which remains on the New York Times bestseller list. She served as the National Teacher of the Year, has been honored at the White House six times, and has been a literary ambassador to Africa and China.
Amit Majmudar, a Cleveland native and diagnostic nuclear radiologist, was named the first poet laureate of Ohio in 2016. His latest book of poetry, Dothead, is an exploration of selfhood. He writes from a wide range of perspectives, looking for beauty in each one.
Lee Martin is the author of four novels, including Late One Night and The Bright Forever, a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. He has also published three memoirs, most recently Such a Life. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in such places as Harper's, Ms., Creative Nonfiction, The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Glimmer Train, The Best American Mystery Stories, and The Best American Essays. He is the winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council. He teaches in the MFA Program at The Ohio State University.