Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks won her first major award in 1943 at the Midwestern Writers' Conference. In addition to several other honorariums (among which are two Guggenheim awards, her appointment as Poet Laureate of Illinois, and the National Endowment for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award), Brooks was the first African-American writer to both win the Pulitzer Prize (1949) and to be appointed to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1976). Brooks received more than fifty honorary doctorates from colleges and universities. In 1969, the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center opened on the campus of Western Illinois University. After a lifetime of proficient verse writing, Brooks died of cancer in December 2000. She was 83 years old. [SOURCE]

This first full-scale biography of one of America's premier poets, written by a leading black literary scholar, reveals the many influences that formed the background to Brook's poetic output: the Harlem Renaissance, the Chicago literary scene from the 1930s on, historical developments in black culture and consciousness, and the significant figures and activities that impressed the poet's life and art. [Description provided by the publisher]


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