Black American Women Poets and Dramatists

By Harold Bloom | Go to book overview

Gwendolyn Brooks
b. 1917

GWENDOLYN ELIZABETH BROOKS was born on June 7, 1917, in Topeka, Kansas, but grew up in Chicago. At the age of seven she began to write poetry, and her first poem was published when she was thirteen. Some of these poems were sent to James Weldon Johnson and Langston Hughes, who encouraged her work. As Willard Motley had done before her, Brooks began a weekly column for the Chicago Defender when she was sixteen. After graduation in 1936 from Wilson Junior College, she worked as publicity director for the NAACP Youth Council in Chicago. Brooks married Henry Lowington Blakely II in 1939; they have two children.

Brooks's career was launched in 1945 with the publication of her first book of poems, A Street in Bronzeville. Its acclaim was immediate; Brooks received a grant from the National Institute of Arts and Letters the next year, as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her next book, Annie Allen ( 1949), won her the Pulitzer Prize for poetry: she was the first black American ever to receive the Pulitzer Prize. More poems followed, as well a book of poems for children (Bronzeville Boys and Girls, 1956), frequent book reviews, and the novel Maud Martha (1953).

In 1967 Brooks attended the Second Fisk University Writers' Conference and as a result became increasingly concerned with black issues. She left Harper & Row, her longtime publisher, for the black-owned Broadside Press, submitted her poetry to black-edited journals only, edited the magazine Black Position, and wrote introductions to several anthologies of work by young black writers. In May 1967 she formed a poetry workshop in Chicago for teenage gang members, eventually encountering Don L. Lee (Haki R. Madhubuti) and Carolyn M. Rodgers, who would go on to become distinguished poets in their own right. Brooks's anthology, Jump Bad (1971), collects poems written at this workshop. In 1968 she was named Poet Laureate of the State of Illinois.

By the time she was fifty Gwendolyn Brooks had already become an institution. The Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center opened at Western

-15-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Black American Women Poets and Dramatists
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 247

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.