Brooks, Gwendolyn (1917 – 2000)
Ms. Brooks won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950 and was the Poet Laureate of Illinois (1968).
Signed Photograph: 5″x7″ black and white, matte-finish, closeup portrait of the poet. She has signed the reverse. This is an uncommon studio print from the acclaimed photographer Roy Lewis (whose stamp also appears on the reverse).
Brooks’ first book of poetry, A Street in Bronzeville (1945), published by Harper and Row, earned her instant critical acclaim. She received her first Guggenheim Fellowship and was included as one of the Ten Young Women of the Year in Mademoiselle magazine. With her second book of poetry, Annie Allen (1950), she became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry; she also was awarded Poetry magazine’s Eunice Tietjens Prize.
After President Kennedy invited Brooks to read at a Library of Congress poetry festival in 1962, she began a second career teaching creative writing. She taught at Columbia College, Northeastern Illinois, Columbia University, City College of New York and the University of Wiscon-Madison where, she said, she rediscovered her blackness. This rediscovery is reflected in her work In The Mecca (1968), a long poem about a mother searching for her lost child in a Chicago tenement. In The Mecca was nominated for the National Book Award for poetry.