Slang BrooksDay 2016

BrooksDay is the Guild Literary Complex’s annual celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks, held every year on June 7th, the anniversary of her birth.  Since 2013, BrooksDay has been a marquee event in the Guild’s yearly calendar with many literary, cultural, and civic leaders from Chicago and beyond taking the stage to celebrate and honor Gwendolyn Brooks, former Poet Laureate of Illinois and the first African American writer to win the Pulitzer Prize.  BrooksDay honors her legacy as an artist and an iconic figure of generosity and civic conscience in Chicago and the nation.

Chicago State University
Gwendolyn Brooks Library, 4th floor
9501 S. King Drive, Chicago
3-8pm; 5pm Reception

Each year, BrooksDay is unique, but BrooksDay always commemorates Gwendolyn Brooks’ artistic achievements, her legendary generosity toward other poets, her influence as a pathbreaking cultural figure in Chicago and beyond, and her well-deserved status as one of the standard-bearers for progressive values and contemporary poetry in modern Chicago, through public performances of her work. BrooksDay 2019 is a collaboration between The Guild Complex, Brooks Permissions, and Third World Press Foundation, who have sponsored previous BrooksDays, and the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University, where Ms Brooks taught, and which has recently renamed their library in her honor.


4th Floor Atrium
The Guild Literary Complex presents a reading of Gwendolyn Brooks’ work
featuring members of Chicago’s literary arts community
carrying on Ms Brooks’ commitment to the literary arts and literary artists:
Nile Lansana, Nicole Bond, Timothy Rey, Michael Fischer, Chloe Johnston, Liz McCabe, Mike Puican,
Jennifer Karmin & Marcy Rae Henry, William Ayers, Mojdeh Stoakley, Mario, Serena Simpson,
Angela Jackson, Haki R. Madhubuti, & Nora Brooks Blakely

4th Floor Solarium
The Event Sponsors host a reception celebrating
Gwendolyn Brooks’ life and work on her birthday
with appetizers and birthday cake!

4th Floor Atrium
The Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing
at Chicago State University presents
a program in honor of the legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks


Onsite Parking $5


Event Sponsors:



 BrooksDays Past:

BrooksDay 2018

Thursday June 7th  

3 – 5pm @ the Arts Incubator in Washington Park

301 E. Garfield Blvd., 2nd floor (fully accessible)


Each year’s celebration has been unique, but each has commemorated Gwendolyn Brooks’s artistic achievements, her legendary generosity toward other poets, her influence as a pathbreaking cultural figure in Chicago and the nation, and her well-deserved stature as an iconic poet of modern Chicago, through public performances of her work. Last year’s spectacular BrooksDay@nite was a flagship event in the City of Chicago’s celebration of Brooks’s 100th birthday, featuring one hundred one-minute performances, a reception, and more at the University of Chicago’s Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts.

This year, which marks the 101st anniversary of Brook’s birth, will be a more contained version of BrooksDay than in years past, in part to allow time to attend the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s Gwendolyn Brooks statue unveiling in Gwendolyn Brooks Park afterward.

Guild Board President Andrea Change will emcee, with confirmed readers to include Bill Ayers, Nora Brooks Blakely, Nicole Bond, Reginald Gibbons, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Krystal Grover-Webb, Jyreika Guest, Angela Jackson, Sandra Jackson-Opoku, Eric Charles May, Haki Madhubuti, Marty McConnell, Ydalmi Noriega, Nikki Patin, Timothy David Rey, Mario, Willie Williams, and more…

& Join us after BrooksDay for the Gwendolyn Brooks statue unveiling in Brooks Park, just a short drive (or long walk) from the Arts Incubator. The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, in partnership with sculptor Margot McMahon, Chicago Park District, the Poetry Foundation, and Brooks Permissions, will unveil Gwendolyn Brooks: The Oracle of Bronzeville, a larger-than-life bronze portrait of Gwendolyn Brooks. This will be the very first sculpture of an African American woman, and also the very first sculpture of a woman poet, in any Chicago park. The unveiling, which is part of the Night Out in the Parks series, will run from 6-8 p.m. and include readings, performances, and tributes in Gwendolyn Brooks Park, 4542 S. Greenwood Ave.

Co-sponsored by Brooks Permissions, UChicago Arts + Public Life, and the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.


BrooksDay@Nite Opening Reception 2017

 BrooksDays 2017:

In 2017 the City of Chicago and its myriad arts organizations celebrated Gwendolyn Brooks on the centennial of her birth. BrooksDay@nite was a marquee event for these celebrations of Brooks on her 100th birthday, with performances at the University of Chicago’s Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts featuring:

Tyehimba Jess, Angela Jackson, Haki Madhubuti, Nate Marshall, Kevin Coval, Marcus Dunlevy, Runako Jahi, Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Patricia Smith ,Tara Betts, C. Russell Price, Natasha Estevez, Mario Smith, Nicole Bond, Judith Heineman, Toni Asante Lightfoot, Eva Miller, Britteney Black Rose Kapri, Nora Brooks Blakely, Tracie D. Hall, Peter Kahn, Christian JaLon, Val Gray Ward, Sandra Jackson-Opoku, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Reg Gibbons, Michael Puican, Aurora Performance Group, Maggie Brown, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Cynthia A. Walls, Sketch N’Tyme, Shahari Moore, Zahra Baker, A.J. McLenon, Shanta Nurullah.

Here are just some of the photos from BrooksDay@nite, the Official Centennial Birthday Party celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks

Nora Brooks Blakely | BrooksDay@Nite, Gwendolyn Brooks’ 100th birthday celebration at the Logan Arts Center, 915 E 60th, Wednesday, June 7, 2017. Charles Osgood Photography
Opening Reception, BrooksDay@Nite. Charles Osgood Photography
BrooksDay@Nite opening reception Logan Arts Center, 915 E 60th, Wednesday, June 7, 2017. Charles Osgood Photography
Sketch N’ Tyme at BrooksDay@Nite, opening reception. Charles Osgood Photography
Opening Reception for BrooksDay@Nite. Charles Osgood Photography
Maggie Brown at BrooksDay@Nite opening reception. Charles Osgood Photography
Tyehimba Jess at Brooksday@Nite. Charles Osgood Photography
Zahra Baker and Shanta Nurullah @BrooksDay@Nite Charles Osgood Photography
Joffrey Ballet Exelon Strobel Step-Up Program Charles Osgood Photography
Nicole Bond at BrooksDay@Nite Charles Osgood Photography

There are many more photos on of the BrooskDay@Nite celebration.

You can view all the photos from the night by clicking here!

BrooksDay 2016

Nora BrooksDay Prievew

Nora Brooks Blakely talks about her mother’s legacy at the 2016 BrooksDay Preview event held at the Museum of Contemporary Art. May 3, 2016

Performances and Readers for BrooksDay 2016 at the Chicago Cultural Center featured:

Kofi Ademola | Quraysh Ali Lansarna | FM Supreme | Fatimah Asghar | Babu Atiba

Aurora Performance Group | Bill Ayers | Tiff Beatty | Nora Brooks Blakely

Michelle Boone | Rosellen Brown | Kristina Colon |Kimberly Dixon- Mays

Mama Edie | Kai El’Zabar | Calvin Forbes | M’read Green | Natasha Estevez

Val Gray Ward | Duriel Harris | Jill Hopkins | Angela Jackson | Bee Kapri | K’Love

Haki Madhubuti | Page May | Toni Nealie | Julie Nesbitt | Peter O’Leary

Sandra Opoku | Elise Paschen | Coya Paz | Rebirth | C.Russell Price

Tim Samuelson | Sketch N Tyme | Javon Smith | Elizabeth Taylor | Stephen Young

Emcees for 2016 were Andrea Change, Kevin Coval, Aviya Kushner, and Mario Smith.