Gwendolyn Brooks was:
- The first black* author to win the Pulitzer Prize.
- The first black woman to be poetry consultant to the Library of Congress.
- Poet laureate of the State of Illinois.
She had a love of reading and writing from a young age and was only 13 when her first published poem, “Eventide,” appeared in American Childhood. By 17, she was a frequent contributor to the Chicago Defender, a newspaper serving Chicago’s black population. She published her first book of poetry, A Street in Bronzeville in 1945. Throughout her life, she often wrote with politics and civil rights in mind.
*She preferred this term over “African American.”