Today we are all joining in a celebration of Nikki Grimes and her body of work.
Nikki, if you're reading this: SURPRISE! And WELCOME!
Nikki has won all kinds of awards lately, and due to covid, there haven't been in-person events, so this gives us all an opportunity to say:
New York Times bestselling author Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the ALAN Award for outstanding contributions to the field of adolescent literature, the 2017 Children's Literature Legacy Award, the 2016 Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, and the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her distinguished works include the much-honored books Garvey's Choice, ALA Notable book What is Goodbye?, Coretta Scott King Award winner Bronx Masquerade, and Coretta Scott King Author Honor books Jazmin's Notebook, Talkin' About Bessie, Dark Sons, Words with Wings, and The Road to Paris. Creator of the popular Meet Danitra Brown, Ms. Grimes lives in Corona, California.
Most recently her memoir in poems ORDINARY HAZARDS (WordSong, 2019) has garnered a lot of attention, including these awards:
Boston Globe-Horn Book Nonfiction Honor Award
Michael L. Printz Honor Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor Award
2020 Arnold Adoff Poetry Award Winner for Teens
|Charles Waters, Nikki Grimes,|
Irene Latham at NCTE 2017
Isn't that wonderful!? I invited Rebecca Davis whom I adore and editor of this book to share a few words with us in celebration of Nikki. Welcome Rebecca!
"Over the years, Nikki has written many powerful books of poetry and prose, always challenging herself as a writer. Her memoir, ORDINARY HAZARDS, shows how writing, faith, and her own brave spirit helped her navigate through the darkest times. These days, as so many are struggling against the dark in our world, I am thinking often of Nikki and of ORDINARY HAZARDS. I hope that readers who need this book will find it and that it will encourage them as they strive toward the light we all need now.
"It takes courage to write your truth. It was an honor to walk with Nikki as she challenged herself to write ORDINARY HAZARDS, and it's a joy to see Nikki's fortitude and hard work rewarded with multiple awards. I wish that Nikki could partake in the usual celebrations that accompany such awards. May this Poetry Friday celebration of Nikki be a virtual hug and help make up for some of what she's missing. The children's poetry community is beautiful indeed."
Thank you, Rebecca! One thing I really related to in ORDINARY HAZARDS is Nikki's lack of memory of some (painful) events. For me, it's a survival mechanism. I don't want to remember. It takes so much bravery to look the past squarely in the face and invite those memories back... and also to admit to the forgetting? Nikki does both in this book.
Charles Waters and I were able to shout-out Nikki in our book CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR? Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship (Lerner, 2018). She is the author who comes to visit our fictional 5th grade classroom, and the book Irene and Charles are in love with (in the book and in real life!) is BRONX MASQUERADE (Dial, 2001). Here is the poem Charles always performs for students during our joint author presentation:
by Devon Hope
I woke up this morning
exhausted from hiding
the me of me
so I stand here confiding
there's more to Devon
than jump shot and rim.
I'm more than tall
and lengthy of limb.
I dare you to peep
behind these eyes,
discover the poet
in tough-guy disguise.
Don't call me Jump Shot.
My name is Surprise.
- Nikki Grimes
And don't miss Nikki's 2020 releases: BEDTIME FOR SWEET CREATURES and SOUTHWEST SUNRISE.
Now, for the Roundup! Thank you for reading, and please leave your links below.
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!Click here to enter
Thank you for hosting! Congrats, Nikki!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for joining our party for Nikki!Delete
Irene, thanks for rounding us up today, and thanks for the fabulous idea to celebrate and honor Nikki Grimes!ReplyDelete
Mary Lee, thank you for being a part of it. xoDelete
Yes - this was a fantabulous idea, Irene - thanks for your generous heart. And, CONGRATS, Nikki, on all your continuing successes! Readers of all ages are lucky to have you. :0)ReplyDelete
Robyn, YES - readers of all ages are lucky we have Nikki books in the world! Thank you for joining the celebration. xoDelete
Bravo, Irene! I was looking forward to this celebration since you suggested it. What a challenge though. Nikki's work has so deeply touched me as person, mother and teacher. I cannot tell you the number of times I know that a Nikki Grimes book is just what a student needed and loved. Her work is a go-to place for me as a children's librarian. I hope that this Poetry Friday is a welcome surprise for Nikki ( I should call her Ms. Grimes....but it's hard when she feels so familiar to me. She does feel like a friend that I know). Irene, you've hit a home run this PF.ReplyDelete
Yay! Linda, I love reading more about how Nikki's work has impacted you and your students. Beautiful! xoDelete
Irene, thank you for this wonderful celebration of poetry and a poet whom will all admire. It is amazing how many awards Nikki has won. Congratulations, Nikki for all that you have done in the field and will continue to do so. Your writing matters to so many.ReplyDelete
Dear Carol, it's pretty incredible and so wonderful to see so many awards come to one book -- and of course over Nikki's career there's an ocean full. Love it. Thanks for being here. xoDelete
Beautiful tribute post for Nikki Grimes Irene! Thanks for gathering us all together to Celebrate and Congratulate her–I've learned so much more about one of my favorite authors and poets. Thanks also for hosting the roundup, xoReplyDelete
Michelle, thank you for helping others learn more about Nikki's work, too. So glad you're here. xoDelete
Thank you, Irene for this suprise for Nikki, celebrating her life, books & the many awards. I know that reading everyone's posts is going to be a wonderful thing this Poetry Friday. Congratulations, Nikki for the honors you've been given and thank you for all the joy you've given to readers!ReplyDelete
I forgot to tell that Janet Fagal is joining me today! We both are celebrating Nikki!Delete
Yay! What a sweet, generous souls you are, Linda AND Janet! xoDelete
Thanks for hosting and for writing this terrific tribute, Irene. So much Nikki-goodness to celebrate!ReplyDelete
Nikki-goodness. I love it!! Thank YOU, Buffy. xoDelete
Thank you for hosting, Irene, and congratulations to Nikki for all the recent praise and awards! (Having read Ordinary Hazards, I know just how deserved it is.) While TLD is technically on hiatus, I couldn't resist the chance to repost her 2015 interview. :)ReplyDelete
Michelle, thank you for breaking your hiatus to bring us your Nikki post. Wonderful! xoDelete
Thank you for hosting this wonderful celebration of Nikki's work. Congratulations to her on all the well deserved awards and new books this year! Sorry I wasn't able to join in since my posts are usually written several weeks in advance. But I'll surely enjoy reading what everyone else has shared this week.ReplyDelete
Jama, thank you for being with us. You are delicious! xoDelete
Thanks again for coming up with the idea, Irene - and congrats to you, Nikki, on a career worth celebrating across the kidlitosphere!ReplyDelete
So glad you could join us, Matt!Delete
Thanks for hosting, Irene and for putting the well deserved highlight on Nikki Grimes! Years ago I read her novel, Dark Sons. It was my first encounter with the novel in verse genre. Changed my life for a variety of reasons. :)ReplyDelete
Oooh, what a great place to start with DARK SONS! I love that it changed your life. I crave reading experiences like that! xoReplyDelete
Nikki's life and legacy is a gift to the world. It seems she sees inside of people. Thank you, Irene, for planning this party. xxReplyDelete
Dear Amy, you, too are a see-er... thank you for celebrating Nikki! xoReplyDelete
Thank you for hosting, Irene, and for your great idea to honor Nikki Grimes! I have that book, Bronx Masquerade, in my classroom library. Hope you have a wonderful Poetry Friday. <3ReplyDelete
Hugs to you dear Ruth, and thank you for your beautiful post. xoDelete
Thank you for your post and everything in it! Your words of celebration, sharing Rebecca's words, the poem, and of course hosting!ReplyDelete
So glad you could join us, Tim!Delete
Irene, thank you for hosting PF and for a wonderful post about NG!ReplyDelete
Amy, it's been my pleasure. Thanks for coming! xoDelete
Irene, I am so glad you had the inspiration to honor Nikki Grimes today. Her poetry has influenced me for years. I'd forgotten about your shout out to her in Can I Touch Your Hair? Gotta go back and grab it. Thanks for hosting!ReplyDelete
Margaret, Nikki's work is certainly a beacon, isn't it? Thank you for coming to the party! xoDelete
Thanks for hosting! And, thank you for re-introducing me to Nikki Grimes. I cannot wait to read her poetry book. I'm pretty sure I've read, Can I Touch Your Hair but now I'll have to go and check. I am always looks for new authors to inspire me! Carol from The Apples in My Orchard on Wordpress.ReplyDelete
Carol - I love how you put that: re-introducing. It reminds me that we need to do this more often -- so many beautiful people in the world to showcase! xoDelete
What a wonderful tribute today - I have taken a break lately from social media so my sharing is poetry in a different way.ReplyDelete
Mandy, I appreciate you sharing this -- there is no wrong way to share poetry!Delete
Thanks, Irene, for highlighting the depth and humanity of Nikki Grimes' work. Also loved Rebecca Davis' sentiments as well! #grimespowerReplyDelete
#grimespower, indeed! Thanks for stopping by my PFF!Delete
Thank you so much for hosting--and for honoring Nikki Grimes and her work. I really want to read her memoir (and I will!). I also have the experience of not remembering certain events--and of remembering others in excruciating detail! I look forward to reading more about this--I never thought of it as a subject to write about.ReplyDelete
Susan, Nikki's memoir really is extraordinary. Please do read it -- and yes, write your own!Delete
This is a most beautiful idea you have had, Irene. I'm sorry I wasn't organised enough to link in today - but I'm loving the opportunity to read more of Nikki's work - and get to know more about her from the snippets in linked blogs. We don't have enough of her work in my little patch of Australia!ReplyDelete
It makes me happy to think of Nikki's work finding its way to QLD via wonderful YOU! xoDelete
What a fabulous idea and post, Irene! And I love reading the poem Charles performs...I'm sure there's video of it somewhere, and I'm going to go try to find it. Thank you for your generous heart. And when it comes to forgetting, I don't remember most of my childhood, and I'm okay with that. As you said, survival mechanism...ReplyDelete
Irene - thank you for hosting this special Roundup and for your informative, heartfelt tribute to Nikki. Including the words of her editor was a wonderfully insightful move - a powerful testimony to Nikki's bravery ("it takes courage to write your truth," indeed) and also to the grace with which she does so. Your post provides a lovely "book buffet" of her work, a sampler to whet one's appetite for more - the selected lines from Bronx Masquerade are so full of power and that final line, especially: "My name is Surprise." To me, that's a vital takeaway for any teacher -- get to know the kids for the treasure troves they really are; they contain many surprises, if we will open doors for hearts and voices to speak and be heard.ReplyDelete
-Fran Haley @ https://litbitsandpieces.com/
I am a HUGE fan of Nikki Grimes and was fortunate enough to have her visit our school a couple of years ago. This was shortly after "Can I Touch Your Hair" was released, and I was so thrilled to see a poem about Nikki Grimes visiting a school in it . . . and getting the chance to (if I'm not mistaken) be the first one to show Nikki herself that poem! Love, love, love her work. Wonderful tribute!!ReplyDelete
Thank you for hosting this wonderful tribute to Nikki Grimes! Nikki's poetry has always been amazing, but the power of Ordinary Hazards is incredible. I'm so glad Nikki's accomplishment has been widely recognized, and thrilled that we could come together to celebrate her here. Thank you again, dear Irene.ReplyDelete
I'm still slogging through my final week of school, so apologies for late commenting. What a lovely "virtual hug" and celebration for Nikki. I bet she was pleased as punch. Brilliant idea, Irene. Thank you!!!!! -- Christie @https://wonderingandwondering.wordpress.com/ReplyDelete