Old Dominion University
October 1-4, 1984
One of the best-loved and most widely read American poets, Gwendolyn Brooks has published seventeen books since 1945, when A Street in Bronzeville, a volume of poetry portraying the black urban poor, first appeared. Her second collection, Annie Allen, received the 1950 Pulitzer Prize, the first awarded to a black poet. In the Mecca, a book-length poem about a child's brutal murder set against a city of indifference and misery, was nominated for the 1968 National Book Award. In 1969 Brooks succeeded Carl Sandburg as Poet Laureate of Illinois. Brooks has also written the novel Maud Martha, books for children, and the first volume of her autobiography, Report from Part One. Her work, in the tradition of the common people, has broken vital ground and helped give voice to generations of writers of all colors.
On Thursday afternoon she will give an informal talk, "On Poetry: Brooks on Brooks," and answer questions from the audience. Her evening poetry reading will conclude the 1984 literary festival. [extracted from 1984 brochure]