Gwendolyn Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1917 and raised in Chicago. She was the author of more than twenty books of poetry, and numerous other books including a novel.
In 1968 she was named Poet Laureate for the state of Illinois, and from 1985-86 she was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She also received an American Academy of Arts and Letters award, the Frost Medal, a National Endowment for the Arts award, the Shelley Memorial Award, and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Guggenheim Foundation. She lived in Chicago until her death on December 3, 2000.
“Very early in life I became fascinated with the wonders language can achieve. And I began playing with words.”