Quincy Public Library Celebrates Gwendolyn Brooks, Poet Laureate, at 100
Quincy Public Library will join in a statewide celebration in June of Gwendolyn Brooks, Illinois Poet Laureate, on the 100th anniversary of her birth.
Brooks, a lifelong resident of Chicago, was the first black winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Quincy Public Library will be hosting two events in honor of Brooks. On Saturday June 10 at 2 pm, the public is invited to attend an hour-long program featuring poetry readings of her works by community members and a talk delving into Brooks’ life and poetry by Mary Ann Klein, PhD, professor emerita of English at Quincy University.
Teens will participate with a teen poetry challenge on Friday, June 23, at 1 pm. Teens will work in small groups to compose and perform cut-up poetry based on the riveting, rich language of Gwendolyn Brooks. Prizes will be awarded.
Both events are free and open to the public, but reservations are requested and may be made at the library or online at quincylibrary.org.
The University of Illinois has spearheaded the statewide celebration to honor one of Illinois’ great literary figures. Events throughout the state will begin on June 7 and continue through the rest of the year throughout Illinois.
Gwendolyn Brooks (June 7, 1917 – December 3, 2000) starting writing poetry at an early age and had many pieces published by her 16th birthday. She made it a priority to introduce and promote poetry to people of all ages and backgrounds. Her work reflected the neighborhood around her and often dealt with the struggles of ordinary people.
She taught American Literature at the University of Chicago, and subsequently taught at Columbia College Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago State University, Elmhurst College, Columbia University, and City College of New York. Brooks organized poetry writing workshops and competitions for the Chicago community, often using her own money to provide cash prizes.
Brooks was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950 for her book Annie Allen. Some of Brooks’ other honors include: Poet Laureate of Illinois, appointed in 1968; Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1985; a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1946; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Medal of Arts.
Brooks poetry and more information about her life is available in books at Quincy Public Library. For more information on library events, or to make a reservation, call 223-1309.
The mission of the Quincy Public Library is to provide its patrons with materials, facilities and programs to meet lifelong learning, cultural and recreational needs.
We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks
The Pool Players.
Seven at the Golden Shovel.
We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We