Gwendolyn Brooks Biography | Author of Blacks

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Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks was born June 7, 1917, in Topeka, Kansas, to Keziah and David Brooks. Her six-decades-long writing career began when she wrote her first poem at age seven; by sixteen, she had already amassed a portfolio of seventy-five published poems. In 1945, she published her first of collection of poetry, A Street in Bronzeville, to great critical acclaim.

Over the years, Brooks's style changed, as did the lives of those she represented in her poetry. Critics locate an important shift around the time her fourth book of poetry, In the Mecca (1968), was published. The American political climate was transforming during this period, reacting to the impact of the civil rights and black power movements. Brooks reacted by abandoning the traditional poetic language and forms that characterize her earlier work, favoring instead the more improvisational sounds and rhythms of urban black language.

Her accomplishments include twenty-one books of...

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This section contains 2,521 words
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Buy the Blacks Study Guide
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