Chicago celebrates 100th birthday of poet Gwendolyn Brooks

CHICAGO -- Wednesday marks what would have been the 100th birthday of Gwendolyn Brooks, a Chicago Pulitzer Prize-winning poet.

Biographer Angela Jackson and Brooks' daughter Nora Brooks Blakely joined WCL to talk about the iconic poet. Blakely talked about her mom's life and a Wednesday night BrooksDay event honoring her mother's birthday in Chicago.

Brooks was a driving force in poetry in Chicago and across the nation. At age 32, she was the first African American author to win a Pulitzer Prize. Her poetry tells the stories of growing up on the South Side of Chicago.

For 32 years, she was Poet Laureate of Illinois, and the Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress until her death in 2000. Gwendolyn was writing poetry by the age of 7, published in a newspaper by 11and was encouraged by Langston Hughes to keep writing.

Chicago poet Angela Jackson was asked to write a biography of the legendary Brooks. Her book is "A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun: The Life and Times of Gwendolyn Brooks."

For more information on Jackson's book about Brooks, visit:

For more information on BrooksDay, visit: