Gwendolyn Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas, on June 7, 1917, and raised in Chicago. She was the author of more than twenty books of poetry, including Children Coming Home (The David Co., 1991); Blacks (1987); To Disembark(1981); The Near-Johannesburg Boy and Other Poems(1986); Riot (1969); In the Mecca (1968); The Bean Eaters(1960); Annie Allen (1949), for which she received the Pulitzer Prize; and A Street in Bronzeville (1945).
She also wrote numerous other books including a novel, Maud Martha (1953), and Report from Part One: An Autobiography (1972), and edited Jump Bad: A New Chicago Anthology (1971).
In 1968 she was named poet laureate for the state of Illinois, and from 1985-86 she was consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress. She also received an American Academy of Arts and Letters award, the Frost Medal, a National Endowment for the Arts award, the Shelley Memorial Award, and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Guggenheim Foundation. She lived in Chicago until her death on December 3, 2000.
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