Born 1917 in Kansas.

African American poet whose work typically gives voice to the everyday struggles and triumphs of being an urban Black American. She has a unique talent for making ordinary lives seem extraordinary and colorful. Brooks was the first American poet to win the Pulitzer Prize (for Annie Allen) and once served as poet laureate of Illinois.

Her other titles include:

A Street in Bronzeville (1945)
Maud Martha (novel, 1953)
Bronzeville Boys and Girls (children's book, 1956)
The Bean Eaters (1960)
Selected Poems (1963)
In the Mecca (1968)
Report from Part One (memoir, 1972)
Primer for Blacks (1980)
Young Poet's Primer (1980)
To Disembark (1981)
The Near-Johannesburg Boy, and Other Poems (1986)
Blacks (1987)
Winnie (1988)
and Children Coming Home (1991)
Report from Part Two (memoir, 1996)

Gwendolyn Brooks died Sunday, December 3, 2000, about a week after being diagnosed with cancer. She lived in the same South Chicago apartment she shared with her husband (since 1938) Henry Blakely, and that's where she died, "pen in hand, surrounded by verse and people she loved," according to the Chicago Tribune.

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