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Gwendolyn Brooks
Commemorative postage stamp of Gwendolyn Brooks issued by the USPS in 2012.
Commemorative postage stamp of Gwendolyn Brooks issued by the USPS in 2012.
Born Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks
(1917-06-07)June 7, 1917
Topeka, Kansas, U.S.
Died December 3, 2000(2000-12-03) (aged 83)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Poet
Nationality American
Period 1930–2000
Notable works A Street in Bronzeville, Annie Allen, Winnie
Notable awards Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1950)
Robert Frost Medal (1989)
National Medal of Arts (1995)
Spouse
Henry Lowington Blakely, Jr.
(m. 1939; died 1996)
Children 2, including Nora Brooks Blakely

Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks (June 7, 1917 – December 3, 2000) was an American poet, author, and teacher. Her work often dealt with the personal celebrations and struggles of ordinary people in her community. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry on May 1, 1950, for Annie Allen, making her the first African American to receive a Pulitzer Prize.

Throughout her prolific writing career, Brooks received many more honors. A lifelong resident of Chicago, she was appointed Poet Laureate of Illinois in 1968, a position she held until her death 32 years later. She was also named the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress for the 1985–86 term. In 1976, she became the first African-American woman inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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