Gwendolyn Brooks statue unveiled at namesake park in Kenwood

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A historic honor for an acclaimed poet and author from Chicago. A sculpture of Gwendolyn Brooks will be unveiled at Brooks Park on the city's South Side Thursday evening. (WLS)

A historic honor for an acclaimed poet and author from Chicago. A sculpture of Gwendolyn Brooks will be unveiled at Brooks Park on the city's South Side Thursday evening at 6 p.m.

For more than 30 years, she was the Illinois Poet laureate.

"To be part of this would have made her feel absolutely incredible," said Nora Brooks Blakely, Gwendolyn Brooks' daughter.

Now, in the Kenwood park that bears her name, Chicago literary icon Gwendolyn Brooks is receiving another honor.

Gwendolyn Brooks is the first Chicago based poet to be honored with a statue in a Chicago park.

"I want them to feel that first of all history is important. That there's a permanence to this that is wonderful," said Blakely.

Brooks' daughter Nora Brooks Blakely says that honor is incredible. But she says this new space is doing something more...

"I think the impact is not only her work that is truly important, but also the life that she lived," she said.

Blakely looks on at the poems visitors have already started leaving on the recreation of her mother's porch. It's where Brooks contemplated and wrote, creating stanzas now etched on a stone walkway in the park. Blakely can't help but think about the future.

"I think that continuation is so important," she said.

It's a future Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Founding Executive Director Don Evans wants to insure. He says his organization raised $40,000 for the project.

"Her art made the world a better place. It made people think. It make people respond to moments in their life," Evans said.

"Knowing that other people remember you and what you did for them and others. That's what's important," Blakely said.

The official unveiling of the new statue happened Thursday evening at Gwedolyn Brooks Park.
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societychicago proudstatuesculpturechicago park districtpoetryKenwoodChicago
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