Gwendolyn Brook


中学生英语·阅读与写作 2017年5期




Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks was born on June 7, 1917, in Topeka, Kansas. When Brooks was six weeks old, her family moved to Chicago.

Brooks attended three high schools: the famous, integrated1 Hyde Park High School; the allblack Wendell Phillips Academy High School; and the integrated Englewood High School.

The racial2 prejudice3 that she encountered at some of these institutions would shape her understanding of social dynamics4 in the United States and influence her writing.

In 1936, Brooks graduated from Wilson Junior College, having already begun to write and publish her work.

Brooks began writing at an early age. She published her first poem in a childrens magazine at age 13. By 16, she had published about 75 poems.

She began submitting5 her work to the Chicago Defender, a leading AfricanAmerican newspaper. She would later say of this time in her life, “I felt that I had to write. Even if I had never been published, I knew that I would go on writing, enjoying it and experiencing the challenge.”

Brooks worked as a secretary to support herself while she developed as a poet. She took part in poetry workshops6, including one organized by Inez Cunningham Stark, a rich woman with a literary background.

Brooks made great progress during this period. In 1943, her work received an award from the Midwestern Writers Conference.

Brooks published her first book of poetry, A Street in Bronzeville, in 1945. The book was an instant7 success, leading to a Guggenheim Fellowship and other honors.

Her second book, Annie Allen, appeared in 1949. Brooks won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for Annie Allen, making her the first African American to win the Pulitzer.

Her long poem In the Mecca, published in 1968, was nominated8 for a National Book Award in poetry.

Gwendolyn Brooks died of cancer on December 3, 2000, at the age of 83, at her home in Chicago, Illinois.


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