Gwendolyn Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1917. She is the author of over 20 poetry collections, including A Street in Bronzeville (1945); Annie Allen (1949), which won the Pulitzer Prize; and The Bean Eaters (1960). She is also the author of several books of prose, including the novella Maud Martha (1953). Brooks received fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Guggenheim Foundation, as well as an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, the Frost Medal, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the National Medal of Arts. She served as the Poet Laureate of Illinois from 1968-2000 and Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1985-1986. In 1988, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Brooks taught creative writing at Columbia College Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago State University, Elmhurst College, Columbia University, Clay College of New York, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She died in 2000.
Audio Recordings of Gwendolyn Brooks
- Readings in Afro-American poetry: Gwendolyn Brooks, Michael S. Harper, and Robert Hayden reading their own poems and those of other Afro-American poets in the Coolidge Auditorium, Feb. 23, 1976
- As part of Poetry in English at the Library of Congress, Gwendolyn Brooks reading from her poetry on September 30, 1985.
- The day of the Gwendolyn: a lecture in the Coolidge Auditorium, May 5, 1986
- Howard Nemerov memorial reading: Gwendolyn Brooks, Maxine Kumin, Alexander Nemerov, Reed Whittemore, in the Mumford Room, Oct. 29, 1991