A retrospective on the cultural and political force of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks, in celebration of her one hundredth birthday
Gwendolyn Brooks is one of the American literary icons of the twentieth century. Mentored by Langston Hughes and Richard Wright from a young age, Brooks’s poetry offered a unique and powerful voice. It served as witness to the stark realities of urban life: the evils of lynching, the murders of Emmett Till and Malcolm X, and the revolutionary effects of the civil rights movement. She earned many accolades for her work, and in 1950, she became the first African American ever to receive a Pulitzer Prize.
As an acclaimed poet who took inspiration from complex portraits of black American life, Brooks gained notoriety as a cultural symbol and speaker of truths. And as a leader of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and ’70s, her reputation flourished as a generous mentor to younger writers and activists.
A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun delves deep into the rich fabric of Brooks’s work and world over nearly six decades. It is a commemoration of an artist who negotiated black womanhood and incomparable artistry with a changing, restless world—an artistic maverick way ahead of her time.
Angela Jackson is an award-winning poet, playwright, and novelist. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including the National Book Award–nominated And All These Roads Be Luminous: Poems Selected and New. Her novel Where I Must Go won the American Book Award in 2009. Jackson lives in Chicago.