|This giant (?peat) shovel was on display in the Somerset Levels, having come from the China Clay Museum in Cornwall|
I attended a poetry workshop and reading at the Alde Valley Festival on Saturday. One of the poems read out to us by Sue Wallace-Shaddad was in the Golden Shovel form. This was new to me. Its name immediately brought to mind not only Wordsworth's 'host of golden daffodils', but a diverse array of other 'golden' items, rules and concepts - the goose's golden eggs, the Golden Section, the Golden Age, the Golden Mile, a Golden Handshake and so on. The image that lodged most firmly in my mind was the 'Golden Marshalltown' trowel, the prized possession of an archaeologist, in The Golden Marshalltown: A Parable of the the Archeology of the 1980s by Kent V. Flannery (American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 84, No. 2, June, 1982, 265-278). I am still trying to work out the connection between the trowel and the shovel since both (like the pen: remember Heaney) can be used for digging.
Here are a few links to websites about the new poetry form...
- about Terrance Hayes, the creator of the form and about Gwendolyn Brooks, in whose honour the form was created.
- concerning the rules, as laid out by Robert Lee Brewer
- The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks, edited by
- Poetry School review by Bridget Minamore of Seasonal Disturbances by Karen McCarthy Woolf (Carcanet). The review mentions the poet's published Golden Shovel poems.