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The Rose O'Neill


Literary House

Literary House Series: A Celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks (with Terrance Hayes)


Date: 4:30pm EDT November 2

Join us for a memorial reading dedicated to an amazing writer who made history as the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Gwendolyn Brooks was born in 1917. In this, the 100th year since her birth, we celebrate the former Poet Laureate and the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize (for Annie Allen, her second book of poems). Brooks was also the first African American woman to become the U.S. Poet Laureate. She wrote twenty books of poetry, publishing her first, A Street in Bronzeville (Harper & Brothers) in 1945. She also authored a novel, two autobiographies, and books for children. Her musicality, mastery of tone, gift with received forms like sonnets, and insistence on writing about marginalized people make Brooks one of our most important and relevant poets. Participants are welcome to bring and read a poem inspired by Brooks, or to read one of their favorites of hers. The acclaimed poet Terrance Hayes will also attend and talk about the influence Ms. Brooks had on his work as well as how he developed the form “the golden shovel” based on her work.