This may be hard to believe, but my journey as an author began 40 years ago. During those four decades, there have been many times when I've wondered, "Does anybody see what I'm doing? Does anyone notice that I'm breaking ground? Does anyone recognize my attempts to be artistically inventive? Anyone?" Well, this year those questions have been answered in spectacular fashion, beginning with the January announcement that I'd been honored with the Laurel Ingalls Wilder Medal. Little did I know this was only the beginning.
In the month of October, alone, I was pleased to attend three award ceremonies in which one of my books was honored: The Boston Globe Horn Book Awards included an Honor for One Last Word; the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award recognized Garvey's Choice with an honor; and the Children's Literature Council of Southern California selected me for the Myra Cohn Livingston Poetry Award for Garvey's Choice.
If I'd pinched myself every time I received an award this year, I'd be black and blue by now! Let's just say that this year gratitude has come easily.
There's more recent good news to share: Scholastic will be producing an edition of One Last Word for its book fair! I'm stoked.
Another highlight of the month was a special event at the Langston Hughes House under the auspices of the I, Too Arts Collective, spear-headed by the wonderful Renee Watson. Andrea Davis Pinkney and I were blessed to take part in the special series, Creative Conversations, at which we each read from our books, then shared a conversation before the audience, taking a few questions at the end. To read Langston's poetry, and my own poetry inspired by some of his work, and to do so in the very space where he, himself, once lived and worked, was an unutterable joy.
I was delighted to have members of my Bloomsbury team there to support me, as well as Renee who put the program together. Renee and I consider ourselves lucky to be part of the Bloomsbury Publishing family.
The night was made even more special when I learned that one audience member, a former teacher, had traveled all the way from Detroit, Michigan for this event! Now that's taking fandom to a whole new level! I was both stunned and honored.
I hope many other authors are fortunate enough to share their work in the home of Langston Hughes. Let's keep supporting I, Too Arts Collective so that Renee's vision for this historical landmark will be realized far into the future.
My time in NYC included two school visits in Brooklyn, plus a visit to the studio of Roxie Munro. Author and friend Julie Chibbaro joined me, and the day was a treat. I capped the evening off by having dinner with agent and friend, Elizabeth Harding, and going to see the musical Come From Away, a fabulous show!
Home again, I'm gearing up for the always-great Rochester Children's Book Festival. I'll tell you all about it next time!
From Nikki's Journal
Summer's breath lingers,
All for now—
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Nikki Grimes. All rights reserved. Navigation bar photo by Aaron Lemen.