Whose Miss Brooks? Exploring the Legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks

Marriott Conference Center C

Sunday, 1:15-2:00

June 2017 marks the centennial anniversary of Gwendolyn Brooks, one of the 20th century’s pre-eminent poets and voices of social justice. 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. Hear poet and author Quraysh Ali Lansana in conversation with Jericho Brown explore the life and legacy of Miss Brooks, including, but not limited to, her move from Harper & Row to Black publishers, such as Third World Press, and her shift from integrationist to Black power ideals.

Presenters

Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown is the recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. His first book, Please (New Issues, 2008), won the American Book Award, and his second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon, 2014), was named one of the best poetry books of the year by Library Journal. His poems have also appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Best American Poetry. Brown earned a PhD from the University of Houston, an MFA from the University of New Orleans, and a BA from Dillard University. He is an associate professor in the creative writing program at Emory University.

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).

Interviewer

Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown is the recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. His first book, Please (New Issues, 2008), won the American Book Award, and his second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon, 2014), was named one of the best poetry books of the year by Library Journal. His poems have also appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Best American Poetry. Brown earned a PhD from the University of Houston, an MFA from the University of New Orleans, and a BA from Dillard University. He is an associate professor in the creative writing program at Emory University.