Gwendolyn Brooks (1917 2000)
Gwendolyn Brooks (June 7, 1917 - December 3, 2000) was the author of more than 20 books of poetry, as well as five books of prose and one novel. Her poetry book Annie Allen won the Pulitzer Prize making her the first African American person to win the prize, and she also edited Jump Bad: A New Chicago Anthology. In 1968 she became the Poet Laureate for the State of Illinois, and served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1985-1986 (the first African American woman in this position).
Brooks won an American Academy of Arts and Letters award, the Frost Medal, a National Endowment for the Arts award, and the Shelley Memorial Award, as well as fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Guggenheim Foundation. Some of her poetry deals with the civil rights issues of her time and racial identity. A few more of her poetry books are A Street in Bronzeville (1945), We Real Cool (1966), and In the Mecca (1968).
Written by Word Works intern Monica Root October 2013