A Celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks 20171002

This event will celebrates the life and works of Gwendolyn Brooks, one of the most well-celebrated poets of the 20th century. We will be hosting her biographer, Angela Jackson.

Angela will be discussing thie life and works of Gwendolyn Brooks. Additionally, DePaul Theater School Alums will read selected vignettes from Maud Martha. The only novel she ever wrote, this book tells the story of a young black girl growing up in Chicago.

Angela Jackson is an award-winning poet, playwright, and novelist. In her most recent book, A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun, Jackson delves deep into the rich fabric of fellow poet and Chicagoan Gwendolyn Brooks’s work and world. Granted unprecedented access to Brooks’s family, personal papers, and writing community, Jackson traces the literary arc of this artist’s long career and gives context for the world in which Brooks wrote and published her work. It is a powerfully intimate look at a once-in-a-lifetime talent up close, using forty-three of Brooks’s most soul-stirring poems as a guide.

Learn more!

Centennial Brooks: A Tribute Celebration


Apr 6–8, 2017 / Free
A three-day tribute gathering of scholars, writers, musicians, and fans of Gwendolyn Brooks

Thu, Apr 6 / 7–9pm
DuSable Museum of African American History

Fri, Apr 7 / 9am–7pm
Sat, Apr 8 / 9am–9:30pm
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts


In honor of the 100th anniversary of Gwendolyn Brooks’ birth, the University of Chicago will host Centennial Brooks—a three-day scholarly conference and a celebration of the life and poetry of the first African American poet to win the Pulitzer Prize.

Featuring Nora Brooks Blakely, Ishion Hutchinson, Haki Madhubuti, Ed Roberson, Sonia Sanchez, and Evie Shockley, with a performance of music and poetry by Jamila Woods, and the premiere of a commission by Nicole Mitchell and the Black Earth Ensemble.

Centennial Brooks is presented by the University of Chicago in partnership with the DuSable Museum of African American History and the Poetry Foundation, and in collaboration with Our Miss Brooks 100 and Brooks Permissions.

All events are free and open to the public.

Our Miss Brooks 100


You Are Invited
to the signature event of
Our Miss Brooks 100
the centennial celebration of beloved poet
Gwendolyn Brooks.

February 2, 2017
The Art Institute of Chicago

Please join us for an evening of poetry featuring all five living Pulitzer Prize winning poets — Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa, Natasha Trethewey, Tracy Smith and Gregory Pardlo — reading their favorite Miss Brooks poem followed by a conversation moderated by award-winning journalist and author Natalie Moore. The event is free and open to the public, but requires pre-registration.

Pre-register today!

For more information about Our Miss Brooks 100, programs and partners, please see: http://www.gwendolynbrooks100.org.