Quraysh Ali Lansana

qalansana.com

Quraysh Ali Lansana is author of 8 poetry books, three textbooks, a children's book, editor of eight anthologies, and coauthor of a book of pedagogy. He is a faculty member of the Writing Program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Lansana served as Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University from 2002-2011, where he was also Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing until 2014. Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community (with Georgia A. Popoff) was published in 2011 and was a 2012 NAACP Image Award nominee. His most recent books include The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop (with Kevin Coval and Nate Marshall) and The Walmart Republic (with Christopher Stewart).

Sessions

Books

Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks

Miss Brooks’ depictions of poor and working-class African Americans provides insight into the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and her lens on the Great Migration, hard and necessary truths about race injustice, and the Black Power movement interprets and contextualizes current racial inequities and tensions. This collection of poetry, essays, and art inspired by the work of Miss Brooks celebrates her life, writing, and activism.

It’s important to recognize that this year marks the 100th birthday of the late poet and cultural icon. Celebrations have occurred in cities around the nation including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and New York City. This festival will be the first to feature celebration of Miss Brooks’ Centennial in Atlanta.


The Whiskey of Our Discontent

Reflections on the profound influence of poet, educator, and social activist Gwendolyn Brooks through examinations of her life and work. Poet, educator, and social activist Gwendolyn Brooks was a singular force in American culture.

The first black woman to be named United States poet laureate, Brook’s poetry, fiction, and social commentary shed light on the beauty of humanity, the distinct qualities of black life and community, and the destructive effects of racism, sexism, and class inequality.

A collection of thirty essays combining critical analysis and personal reflection, The Whiskey of Our Discontent, presents essential elements of Brooks' oeuvre—on race, gender, class, community, and poetic craft, while also examining her life as poet, reporter, mentor, sage, activist, and educator.