Gwendolyn Brooks Biographical Note

Search form

Gwendolyn Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1917, and lived in Chicago, Illinois from the age of one month until her death on December 2, 2000. A graduate of Chicago's Wilson Junior College, she was awarded over 50 honorary degrees. She taught at the University of Wisconsin (Madison), City Colleges of New York, Columbia College of Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University, and Elmhurst College, and published 16 books, including poetry, children's verse, writing manuals, one novel, and an autobiography.

In 1985 she became the 29th appointment as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Among her awards were the American Academy of Arts and Letters Awards, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Award, the Kuumba Liberation Award, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Brooks also held the Gwendolyn Brooks Chair in Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University.