The Guild Literary Complex, Third World Press, and The American Writers Museum present the first annual BROOKSDAY at The Chicago Cultural Center!

Brooksday LogoJoin us, as we are creating the first annual marathon reading of the works of Gwendolyn Brooks on her birthday!  We want to honor her tremendous legacy as an artist and an iconic figure of generosity and civic conscience in Chicago and in the nation.

Along with youth, other poets, actors and teachers, many notable literary, cultural, civic, and political leaders from Chicago and beyond will take the stage at the Chicago Cultural Center on June 7 to celebrate Gwendolyn Brooks, who was the first African American writer to win the Pulitzer Prize.  BROOKSDAY 2013 will be the first step toward creating an annual event that will grow into a city-wide festival by 2017, Brooks’s 100th birthday.  We are creating an event that will commemorate Gwendolyn Brooks’s artistic achievement, her legendary generosity toward other poets, her influence as a pathbreaking cultural figure in Chicago and the nation, and her deserved stature as the iconic poet of modern Chicago!

Gwendolyn Brooks was the first African American poet to hold the position of poetry consultant to the Library of Congress (the same position that is now called Poet Laureate).  Her many books include A Street In Bronzeville (1945), Annie Allen (for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1949), In the Mecca (1968), Blacks (1987) and a novel, Maud Martha (1953). She was the Poet Laureate of Illinois from 1968 until her death in 2000.  We hope to create not only an event but also a consciousness in Chicago and the nation of a poet of extraordinary talent and an exceptional person as well, a woman of exceptional accomplishment both professional and personal.  On June 7 2013 we will gather at The Chicago Cultural Center to celebrate all that is Gwendolyn Brooks.

This event is held in conjunction with The Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest and supported by Brooks Permissions, Library of America, and The University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies.

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