Welcome to Golden Shovel April (an invitation)

Here’s an invitation to all of you poets (or potential poets, which is all of you) out there to join me in Golden Shovel April. This is a collaborative project for the blogging and writing community to create together.

Back in February I ran a weekly prompt challenge called “Get Your Golden Shovel”, which called upon the community to create a Golden Shovel poem based on the prompt line provided. It was a fabulous success and a number of the participants asked me to continue with the challenge. However, I wanted to provide a little more flexibility (both in terms of prompt and in terms of time), so I’m making an adjustment as and launching this as a monthly collaborative project with up to three prompts to choose from. And since April is #PoetryMonth, when better to launch than now?

What is the Golden Shovel form, you ask? The Golden Shovel form was created by the poet Terrance Hayes, whose poem “Golden Shovel” (from his 2010 collection Lighthead) is based on Gwendolyn Brooks’ “We Real Cool” which references the phrase “Golden Shovel”. Here are the “rules”:

Golden Shovel “Rules”

1) Take a line (or lines) from an existing poem (I provide this in the prompt section below)

2) Use each word in the line (or lines) as an end word in your poem.

3) Keep the end words in order.

4) The new poem does not have to be about the same subject as the poem that offers the end words.

5) Make sure to credit the poet who originally wrote the line (or lines) and link to my prompt post.

6. Have fun! If the rules are too rigid for what your muse is calling for then break them!

Golden Shovel Example:

Prompt: “Cursing the winter solstice sun” (from Under the Solstice Sun by Monty Vern)

New Golden Shovel poem:

Winter’s Curse

Honey sweet lips cursing;

Stoking flames, melting the

Frozen timepieces of winter;

Summoning summer’s solstice;

Accelerating earth ‘round the sun.

Golden Shovel April Prompts

Choose one, two, or all three and create your own Golden Shovel poem for each prompt you select.

April Prompt No. 1

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep”

from “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost

April Prompt No. 2

…feel the wet maples leaves flicker in the rain”

from “The Leaves of a Dream are the Leaves of an Onion” by Arthur Sze

April Prompt No. 3

Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun or fester like a sore – and then run?.”

from “Dream Deferred” (Harlem) by Langston Hughes

Additional Guidelines

(1) You can either post on your own blog and link to this prompt post so that we can all see it and further share, include it in this post’s comments section, or post on twitter and tag me (@montyvern).

(2) While there is not any hard deadline, the intention is to share your Golden Shovel poem(s) during the prompt month (feel free to post each poem separately if you decide to do more then one). If you post prior to the 25th of the month, then I will try to include your submission (along with mine) in a monthly round-up post for us all to enjoy. If you’ve posted on your own site then I will include an excerpt with link. If you post either in the comments or twitter I will include the entire poem with credit to the author.

(3) While there is absolutely no requirement, I highly encourage you to tag one or two potential poets in your post and invite them to join. Let’s grow our creative community!

If you missed the original Golden Shovels created by the community in the February challenge, check out all the contributions in the Week 1 Round-Up, Week 2 Round-Up, Week 3 Round-Up, and Week 4 Round-Up. Feel free to give these prompts a try as well. They were great poem line prompts with lots of creative potential.

That’s it. Time to get poetic! Enjoy!

Be well,



  1. gigglingfattie says:

    Oooo yay! I love the golden shovel poems!! I’m gonna try to do some! Are these all the prompts for the whole month? Should I space them out or will there be more lol you might have said in this post but I missed it on my read through and am too lazy to go back haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monty Vern says:

      These are all the prompts for the month. Feel free to spread them out or just do the one(s) you wish.


      1. gigglingfattie says:

        Thank you for the clarification!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for the clarification!
        I love stopping by a woods on a snowy evening, so you have me hooked!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Monty Vern says:

        Just a friendly reminder that this collab is still open if you want to participate 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thank you.. I will be participating this Sunday!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Monty Vern says:

        Yay!!! Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. murisopsis says:

    Hey Monty! My Golden Shovel will post on April 11th at https://murisopsis.wordpress.com/2022/04/11/looking-golden/
    I linked to this post and hope some of the NPM Scavenger Hunt Flex 2022 will visit and participate! The more the merrier and right now the world needs more poetry and less war!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monty Vern says:

      Yay!!! Your fantastic! Thank you. Look forward to reading your Golden Shovel.


    1. Monty Vern says:

      Thanks for joining and sharing!


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