Thursday, March 29, 2018

March DMC Wrap-Up + Giveaway

Okinawa Institute of Science and Tecnology

"Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are."
                    – Alfred Austin

The soil has been fertile for planting poetry this month. At the beginning of March, Nikki Grimes challenged us to write golden shovel poems inspired by striking lines from "Black Box" from BRONX MASQUERADE, "blurred lines" by Lil Fijjii, and "Truth" from BETWEEN THE LINES.


Many gardeners' hands and hearts have made for a glorious and thought-provoking array of poems—some introspective, others proactive, but each one transplanting a line of poetry and sprouting new life.

THANK YOU to everyone who wrote golden shovel poems for our community garden, and most especially to Nikki Grimes for the seeds of inspiration that led to such fruitful results.

Scroll through the poems below or, for best viewing, CLICK HERE.

Made with Padlet

Inspired to write your own? 

If you would like to add your golden shovel to the collection, post it on our March 2018 padlet by March 31st and I will add it to the wrap-up presentation.

Participants in this month's challenge will automatically be entered to win a copy of BETWEEN THE LINES by Nikki Grimes, courtesy of Penguin Young Readers. (One entry per participant, not per poem. US addresses only.)

Alternatively, you may enter the giveaway by commenting below. Comments must be received by Tuesday, April 3, 2018. If you contribute a poem and comment below you will receive two entries in total.

The winner will be determined by and announced next Friday when we reveal next month's interview and ditty challenge. Good luck!

Due to the popularity of my March 8th "Teacher Tips" post, I've created a downloadable and printable document for convenient use during National Poetry Month. Download or print your copy HERE.

Heidi Mordhorst is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup at my juicy little universe. Find out more about Irene Latham's annual Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem (making the rounds beginning on Sunday, April 1st) and check out the many links to this week's other poetry offerings.


  1. I find the golden shovel makes me dig out new words and ways of saying things. I never know what poem is going to grow. (Even as I'm piling the dirt back in the hole, thinking that there is just no poem there to propagate.)

    This is such a rich collection of poems, Michelle. So powerful - with strong voices!

  2. I'm sorry I haven't commented more -- I have been fascinated by this month's golden shovels. I had always assumed they would be pretty long, so the short ones were a revelation.

  3. Good Morning, Michelle. Once again, thank you for the interview, the poetry practice and a place to read everyone's work. I really enjoyed this month. It's also fun to watch the success of this book continue with awards. I'm so happy for the words!

  4. What a wonderful collection of golden shovel poems!

  5. Congratulations, Michelle, on curating another gorgeous collection! I've yet to write a Golden Shovel... I am such a free-verse gal that I feel hemmed in just thinking about those constraints! Of course this makes me admire all of you and your beautiful poems even more. Wishing you a lovely National Poetry Month. xo

  6. You've had some good ones, Michelle - it's been a very productive challenge! I just finally got mine posted (nothing like waiting til the last minute, right??)...many thanks to you & Nikki for the opportunity to get creative.

  7. Throwing my hat into the ring to potentially win a Nikki Grimes book! I feel guilty about not contributing to the challenge this month. Unlike Irene, I'm a bit terrified of writing free verse! I certainly enjoyed reading all of the contributions, though. Thank you, Michelle!

  8. I'm so glad my students had the opportunity to participate this month. They related well to the themes of the poems and actually had some good results. What a rich soil of poems this garden grows!

  9. Quite a garden you've grown here Michelle, all shapes, textures and sizes!
    Thanks for hosting Nikki Grimes again, her work and words are always an inspiration. Thanks too for the pdf Teacher Tips sheet. Happy Spring and a Happy Poetry Month! BTW won't you please send some of that lovely Florida warmth up our way…

  10. Another fabulous response to the TLD challenge this month! I love forward to next month when the New Hampshire dinosaurs leave their imprint!

  11. Using a Golden Shovel to dig your garden makes for shining rows of growth! (Why is grow a beautiful word but growth is kind of gross?) Taking time this weekend to read through the Padlet, and thanking you for the constant stream of inspiration!

  12. Both your original post and Nikki's poetry (and from the students in her workshop) and all the poems submitted this month have blown me away!

  13. This is an amazing collection, Michelle. So powerful and heartfelt. Thank you again for creating this inspiring space!