Gwendolyn Brooks


Gwendolyn Brooks (b.1917 – d.2000)

Gwendolyn Brooks was a key poet of the twentieth century. From her first book on, her work is characterized by formal and technical mastery, with an abiding concern for the life experiences of African Americans. Her work in the late 1960s reflected a consciously political turn, in line with the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. As part of her evolving commitment, Brooks left the publisher Harper & Row in 1969. From then on her books were published by African American publishers Broadside Press and Third World Press. The first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize (for her 1949 collection Annie Allen), Brooks was a bridge between important academic poets of her generation (such as Robert Hayden and Sterling Brown) and younger, radical Black poets such as Amiri Baraka and Sonia Sanchez. She was revered by both groups.

Brooks, Gwendolyn. 1968. In the Mecca: Poems. New York: Harper & Row.

Author's autograph presentation copy.