Gwendolyn Brooks James fletcher

Gwendolyn Brooks was a highly regarded, much-honored poet she is the first black author to win a Pulitzer Prize (achievement in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States.) Gwendolyn Brooks was the first black woman to hold that position and poet laureate (an eminent poet traditionally appointed for life as a member of the British royal household of the State of Illinois.


Gwendolyn Brooks was born June 17, 1917, in Topeka Kansas, but when she was 6 months she moved to Chicago because of the great migration. Her father was a janitor who had dreams of becoming a doctor. Her mother was a schoolteacher and a classically trained pianist. She began writing poetry as a young teenager. Gwendolyn was called Gwendie by her close friends and family. As a young high school student Gwendolyn attend three different high schools, Hyde Park High School, also the all-black Wendell Phillips Academy High School, and the integrated Englewood High School. The racial prejudice that she was forced to grow up with made her want to strive to make a point strive to have a black women's voices in a white man's world.

Starting to write

Gwendolyn was such a good poet she published her first poem in a children's magazine, at the age of 13. By the age of 16, she had published approximately 75 poems in the Chicago defender, a leading defender African American newspaper. Gwendolyn’s poems consisted of free verse, drawing and content.Gwendolyn knew at this young age she was not experienced enough and didn't have the inlet or foot in the door to get published but that didn't stop her from writing. Gwendolyn says that even though she wasn't published she enjoyed writing and experiencing the challenge.

Making Money

Since being a poet/writer itself doesn't pay the best Brooks worked as a secretary to support herself as a poet. Brooks published her first book of poetry in 1945, A Street in Bronzeville, this book was an instant success which lead to fellowship and other honours. Brooks also won the pulitzer prize (achievement for a newspaper or magazine) and many other achievements as a writer. In the early 1960s Gwendolyn began a very successful teaching career which she was also. Brooks started as a teaching instructor at of creative writing she taught at the columbia college in chicago, Chicago State University, Northeastern Illinois University, Columbia University, Columbia University, and last but not least the university of Wisconsin.

Her family life

Gwendolyn Brooks got married in 1939 to Henry Lowington the two of them had two kids who they named Henry and Nora. Gwendolyn passed away of cancer at the age of 83 in the year of 2000 near her home in Chicago Illinois. She is buried at Lincoln Cemetery in Blue Island Illinois.

Gwendolyn was an amazing writer she finished her writing career with tons of awards and achievements she is still the most decorated black woman to this day if I read right. She writes for something that people can relate to and respect. She overcame adversity and produce all in for something she loves. Editors

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A&E Television Networks

April 2, 2014

Original Published Date



Created with images by takomabibelot - "Sara S. Miller's 1994 Bronze Portrait Bust Of Gwendolyn Brooks (Washington, DC)"

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