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Gwendolyn Brooks Quotes

Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks
  • Born: 7th June 1917, Topeka, Kansas, U.S.
  • Died: 3rd December 2000, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
  • Resting place: Lincoln Cemetery, Blue Island, Cook County, Illinois, U.S.
  • Alma mater: Wilson Junior College
  • Occupation: Poet, teacher and author
  • Great Achievements: Won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950 (for her 1949 poetry book Annie Allen) making her the first African American to receive a Pulitzer

"Poetry is life distilled"

Gwendolyn Brooks

"I am an organic Chicagoan. Living there has given me a multiplicity of characters to aspire for. I hope to live there the rest of my days. That's my headquarters"

Gwendolyn Brooks

"Truth tellers are not always palatable. There is a preference for candy bars"

Gwendolyn Brooks

"Do not desire to fit in. Desire to oblige yourselves to lead"

Gwendolyn Brooks

"I am not a scholar, I'm just a writer who loves to write and will always write"

Gwendolyn Brooks

"Art is a refining and evocative translation of the materials of the world"

Gwendolyn Brooks

"Be careful what you swallow. Chew!"

Gwendolyn Brooks

"To be in love; Is to touch with a lighter hand"

Gwendolyn Brooks

"The Black emphasis must be not against white but for Black"

Gwendolyn Brooks

"Art hurts. Art urges voyages - and it is easier to stay at home"

Gwendolyn Brooks

"Writing is a delicious agony"

Gwendolyn Brooks

"Exhaust the little moment; Soon it dies"

Gwendolyn Brooks
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Gwendolyn Brooks Biography

Although Gwendolyn Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas her family uprooted and moved to Chicago while she was still a baby. She attended a number of Chicago schools and opted not to pursue a four year university degree as she considered herself to be a literate person who wanted to do exactly that, write.

In her own words she was quoted as saying: "I am not a scholar, I'm just a writer who loves to write and will always write". She was a natural writer and she proved you do not really need a set environment or college degrees to create great literature.

Her first publication was called A Street in Bronzeville in 1945 and Brooks literally wrote about life as she saw it where she lived in south Chicago. Brooks was quoted as saying "I lived in a small second-floor apartment at the corner, and I could look first on one side and then the other. There was my material".

Although it was well received with local literary acclaim Brooks was just warming to the task of creating rhyme and verse. In 1949 she published her Pulitzer Prize winning book of poetry Annie Allen about a young black girl making the transition into womanhood in 1940's Bronzeville, South Chicago.

This distinction saw her poetry reach a wider audience than she could have imagined and it opened many doors for her, but it was always about the writing for Brooks and she continued to write about what she saw and felt to the point she is now renowned as one of the most distinguished North American poets of the twentieth century.

The Five Most Notable Works Of Gwendolyn Brooks are:

  1. Annie Allen (1949)
  2. A Street in Bronzeville (1945)
  3. Aloneness (1971)
  4. In the Mecca (1968)
  5. Black Love (1982)

Gwendolyn Brooks held the position of Poet Laureate of Illinois from 1968 until her death in 2000.

The finest poets make the greatest quotes so here is my compilation of 12 of the best Gwendolyn Brooks quotes

Quotes About Gwendolyn Brooks

The author Richard Wright commented on her 1945 publication 'A Street in Bronzeville': "There is no self-pity here, not a striving for effects. She takes hold of reality as it is and renders it faithfully. ... She easily catches the pathos of petty destinies; the whimper of the wounded; the tiny accidents that plague the lives of the desperately poor, and the problem of color prejudice among Negroes"

Her mother Keziah (Wims) Brooks recognised her talent for poetry from an early age when she said: "You are going to be the lady Paul Laurence Dunbar"

Gwendolyn Brooks  image quote