African American Hero of the Day

African American Almanac
ISBN: 9781578593231

Which poet received the Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America in 1990?

  • Recognition from Mademoiselle magazine helped get her writing career started.
  • She was born in Topeka, Kansas.
  • She earned a National Medal of Arts in 1995.
  • She won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1950 work, Annie Allen.

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-)


Gwendolyn Brooks is one of many blacks to win a Pulitzer Prize. Brooks received this prestigious award in 1950 for Annie Allen, a volume of her poetry that had been published a year earlier.

Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas, moved to Chicago at an early age, and was educated there, graduating from Wilson Junior College in 1936. In 1945 she completed a book of poems, A Street in Bronzeville, and was selected by Mademoiselle magazine, as one of the year's ten most outstanding American women. She was made a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1946, and received Guggenheim Fellowships for 1946 and 1947.

In 1949 she won the Eunice Tietjen Prize for Poetry in the annual competition sponsored by Poetry magazine. She was also poet laureate of the state of Illinois.

Her other books include a collection of children's poems, Bronzeville Boys and Girls (1956); a novel, Maud Martha (1953); and two books of poetry, The Bean Eaters (1960) and Selected Poems (1963). She has also written In the Mecca; Riot; The World of Gwendolyn Brooks; Report from Part One: The Autobiography of Gwendolyn Brooks; and To Disembark. She has edited A Broadside Treasury and Jump Bad: A New Chicago Anthology.

Brooks received numerous awards and recognition over the years. In 1985 Western Illinois University established the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for African American Literature, and she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1988. She received the Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America in 1990, and in 1995 received the National Medal of Arts from President Bill Clinton.

Due to complications from cancer, Brooks died on December 3, 2000, at her Chicago home.

From African American Almanac: 400 Years of Triumph, Courage and Excellence by Lean'tin Bracks, (c) 2012 Visible Ink Press(R). A wealth of milestones, inspiration, and challenges met . . .

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