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Bio of Gwendolyn Brooks

             Gwendolyn Brooks achieved astonishing success at an early age. She was born in Topeka, Kansas in the year 1917. It has been said that Gwendolyn Brooks was intrigued by words and their sounds they made. By the age of seven, she dreamt of becoming a writer. At the age of thirteen, Gwendolyn Brooks had a poem published in American Childhood, a well-known magazine at the time. While a student at Wilson Junior College, Gwendolyn Brooks was given the opportunity to meet James Weldon Johnson and Langston Hughes. These two poets encouraged Gwendolyn Brooks in her literary dream. At the age of seventeen, she started to present her poems to "Light and Shadows," which was the poetry column of the Chicago Defender. All together, Gwendolyn Brooks published more than seventy-five poems to this African- American Newspaper. In the year 1941, Gwendolyn Brooks and her husband enrolled in Cunningham Stark's Poetry Workshop. She then began to receive acknowledgment and won an award at the Midwestern Writer's Conference. In the following two years, she received three additional awards in this conference. In 1945, she published her first collection of poetry known as A Street in Bronzeville. In 1946, she won a 1,000 dollar award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. By this time Gwendolyn Brooks has not turned thirty, and still she was a profound poet. She was the first black American writer to win a Pulitzer Prize. Her poems are sensitive and about poverty and racism. In the year 1960, moved by the black power movement, Gwendolyn Brook's writing underwent a drastic change in style. She was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Society of Midland Authors, Cliff Dwellers Club, Tavern Club, and Caxton Club. In her lifetime, she won many awards including names one of the ten women of the year in Mademoiselle magazine, American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for creative writing, and Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award.

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