Nikki Grimes


New York Times bestselling author Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the 2020 ALAN Award for outstanding contributions to young adult 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 Southwest Sunrise, Coretta Scott King Award winner Bronx Masquerade, and five Coretta Scott King Author Honor books, Printz and Siebert Honor winner Ordinary Hazards, Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor One Last Word, its companion Legacy:Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance, and NYT Bestseller Kamala Harris:Rooted in Justice. Creator of the popular Meet Danitra Brown, Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel, Bedtime for Sweet Creatures, and Off to See the Sea, Ms. Grimes lives in Corona, California. Source


I am hardly ever able

to sort through my memories

and come away whole

or untroubled.

It is difficult

to sift through the stones,

the weighty moments and know

which is rare gem,

which raw coal,

which worthless shale or slate.

So, one by one,

I drag them across the page

and when one cuts into the white,

leaves a trail of blood,

no matter how narrow the stream,

then I know

I’ve found the real thing,

the diamond,

one of the priceless gems

my pain produced.

“There! There,” I say,

“is a memory worth keeping.”





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Ars Poetica

Literary Devices:


conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie

Extended Metaphor

a metaphor that extends through several lines or even an entire poem


visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work