Check out our Q&A with Nikki Grimes, author of THE WATCHER ( Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers, October 2017)!
1. What inspired you to write The Watcher?
A few years ago, I was invited to write a Golden Shovel poem for The Golden Shovel Anthology, a collection honoring the work of Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet, Gwendolyn Brooks. This new poetry form, created by Terence Hayes specifically for this anthology, was brand new, and so this was my first introduction to it. I fell immediately in love with the form and could not wait to use it again, for a project of my own. One of the first two ideas that came to me was to apply the form to the exploration of a Psalm. It seemed perfect. The Psalms are poetry, after all, and the Golden Shovel is all about borrowing lines from existing poems to create new ones. The question, of course, was which Psalm. I had a picture book in mind, and in order for this treatment to work for a picture book, the Psalm had to be relatively short, and so I searched for just the right one. Psalm 121 is one of my favorite passages of scripture, and the length seemed exactly right.