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Gwendolyn Brooks

also known as Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks

writer , poet

Gwendolyn Brooks was an African-American poet whose first book of poetry, A Street in Bronzeville (1945), earned instant critical acclaim. With her second book of poetry, Annie Allen (1950), she became the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. In 1967, she attended a writer's conference at Fisk University where, she said, she rediscovered her blackness. This rediscovery is reflected in her work In the Mecca (1968).


BROOKS, Gwendolyn was born on June 7, 1917 in Topeka, Kansas, United States. Daughter of David Brooks and Keziah Wims.


Englewood High School and Wilson Junior College.


Negro Hero (1945)

The Mother (1945)

A Street in Bronzeville (1945)

Annie Allen (1950)

Maud Martha (1953) (Fiction)

Bronzeville Boys and Girls (1956)

The Bean Eaters (1960)

Selected Poems (1963)

We Real Cool (1966)

In the Mecca (1968)

Malcolm X (1968)

Family Pictures (1970)

Black Steel: Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali (1971)

The World of Gwendolyn Brooks (1971)

Aloneness (1971)

Report from Part One: An Autobiography (1972) (Prose)

A Capsule Course in Black Poetry Writing (1975) (Prose)

Aurora (1972)

Beckonings (1975)

Black Love (1981)

To Disembark (1981)

Primer for Blacks (1981) (Prose)

Young Poet's Primer (1981) (Prose)

Very Young Poets (1983) (Prose)

The Near-Johannesburg Boy and Other Poems (1986)

Blacks (1987)

Winnie (1988)

Children Coming Home (1991)

In Montgomery (2000)

After President John F. Kennedy invited Brooks in 1962 to read at a Library of Congress poetry festival, 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.


  • Other Work

    • A Street in Bronzeville 1945, Annie Allen 1949, Maud Martha 1953, Bronzeville Boys and Girls 1956, The Bean Eaters 1960, Selected Poems 1963, In the Mecca 1968, Riot 1969, Family Pictures 1970. Aloneness 1971, Report From Part One (autobiog.) 1972, Tiger w’ho wore White Gloves 1974, Reckonings 1975, Primer for Blacks 1980, Young Poet’s Primer 1980, To Disembark 1981, The Near-Johannesburg Boy 1986, Blacks 1987, Gottschalk and the Grande Tarantelle 1988, Winnie 1988.


National Institute, American Academy, of Arts and Letters, Poetry' Society of America. National Association for Advancement of Colored People, Third World Press.

  • Society Midland Authors.


Married Henry Blakely in 1939.

David Anderson Brooks - porter

Keziah Wims - teacher

Henry Lowington Blakely

Henry Lowington Blakely jr.

Nora Blakely