Gwendolyn Brooks - Springfield, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Metro2
N 39° 47.934 W 089° 39.202
16S E 272831 N 4408805
Quick Description: Some poets have statues or monuments to honor them... Gwendolyn Brooks also has a State Library named after her!
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 6/18/2013 9:25:55 PM
Waymark Code: WMHBA3
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 2

Long Description:
Gwendolyn Brooks was amongst other things the poet laureate of Illinois. This State Library was dedicated to her in 2006.
The plague at the site has an image of her and reads:

"GWENDOLYN BROOKS
ILLINOIS STATE LIBRARY

'The wirtten word holds, oh so much
Of wonderful import-
Here in these little books of mine
Shines gold of every sort."

Poet * Writer * Teacher

Guggenheim Fellowship - 1946 and 1947
Pultizer Prize - 1950
Illinois Poet Laureate - 1968 -2000
Shelley Memorial Award - 1975-1976
Appointed to the American Academy of Arts and Letters - 1976
Frost Medal - 1988-1989
Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities - 1994
National Medal of Arts - 1995
Library of Congress 'Living Legend' - 2000
Dedicated June 6, 2003 * Jesse White, Secretary of State and State Librarian"

Underneath Brooks image -
"Gwendolyn Brooks
1917-2000"

Wikipedia (visit link) adds:

"Brooks published her first poem in a children's magazine at the age of nineteen. By the time she was sixteen, she had compiled a portfolio of around 75 published poems. At seventeen, she started submitting her work to "Lights and Shadows", the poetry column of the Chicago Defender, an African-American newspaper. Her poems, many published while she attended Wilson Junior College, ranged in style from traditional ballads and sonnets to poems using blues rhythms in free verse. Her characters were often drawn from the poor of the inner city. After failing to obtain a position with the Chicago Defender, Brooks took a series of secretarial jobs.

By 1941, Brooks was taking part in poetry workshops. A particularly influential one was organized by Inez Cunningham Stark, an affluent white woman with a strong literary background. The group dynamic of Stark's workshop, all of whose participants were African American, energized Brooks. Her poetry began to be taken seriously.[5] In 1943 she received an award for poetry from the Midwestern Writers' Conference.

Brooks' first book of poetry, A Street in Bronzeville (1945), published by Harper and Row, earned instant critical acclaim. She received her first Guggenheim Fellowship and was included as one of the “Ten Young Women of the Year” in Mademoiselle magazine. With her second book of poetry, Annie Allen (1950), she became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry; she also was awarded Poetry magazine’s Eunice Tietjens Prize.

After President John F. Kennedy invited Brooks to read at a Library of Congress poetry festival in 1962, she began a second career teaching creative writing. She taught 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. In 1967 she attended a writers’ conference at Fisk University where, she said, she rediscovered her blackness. This rediscovery is reflected in her work In The Mecca (1968), a long poem about a mother searching for her lost child in a Chicago apartment building. In The Mecca was nominated for the National Book Award for poetry.

On May 1, 1996, Brooks returned to her birthplace of Topeka, Kansas. She was invited as the keynote speaker for the Third Annual Kaw Valley Girl Scout Council's "Women of Distinction Banquet and String of Pearls Auction." A ceremony was held in her honor at a local park at 37th and Topeka Boulevard."
Relevant Web Site: [Web Link]

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