May 30 | Angela Jackson on “A Surprised Queenhood”

May 30, 2017
7pm - 9pm
Logan Center for the Arts Performance Penthouse, 915 E 60th St

free and open to the public; facebook event

Join us for a retrospective discussion on the cultural and political force of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks, in celebration of her one hundredth birthday with Angela Jackson.

Gwendolyn Brooks is one of the American literary icons of the twentieth century. Mentored by Langston Hughes and Richard Wright from a young age, Brooks’s poetry offered a unique and powerful voice. It served as witness to the stark realities of urban life: the evils of lynching, the murders of Emmett Till and Malcolm X, and the revolutionary effects of the civil rights movement. She earned many accolades for her work, and in 1950, she became the first African American ever to receive a Pulitzer Prize.

As an acclaimed poet who took inspiration from complex portraits of black American life, Brooks gained notoriety as a cultural symbol and speaker of truths. And as a leader of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and ’70s, her reputation flourished as a generous mentor to younger writers and activists.

A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun delves deep into the rich fabric of Brooks’s work and world over nearly six decades. It is a commemoration of an artist who negotiated black womanhood and incomparable artistry with a changing, restless world—an artistic maverick way ahead of her time.

Born in Greenville, Mississippi, poet Angela Jackson is the fifth of nine children. She spent her early life in Greenville before moving with her family to Chicago’s Southside. Jackson earned a BA at Northwestern University, where she received the Academy of American Poets Prize, and an MA in Latin American and Caribbean studies at the University of Chicago. In Chicago, she became a prominent member of the Organization of Black American Culture.

Jackson’s free verse poems weave myth and life experience, conversation, and invocation. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Voo Doo/Love Magic (1974); Dark Legs and Silk Kisses: The Beatitudes of the Spinners (1993), which won the Carl Sandburg Award; and National Book Award–nominated And All These Roads Be Luminous: Poems Selected and New (1998). She has also written several plays, including Witness! (1978), Shango Diaspora: An African-American Myth of Womanhood and Love (1980), and When the Wind Blows (1984). Her novel Where I Must Go (2009) won the American Book Award.

Jackson’s honors include a Pushcart Prize, TriQuarterly’s Daniel Curley Award, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award, and grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. Jackson lives in Chicago.

For a full listing of events celebrating the 100th birthday of Gwendolyn Brooks, please visit arts.uchicago.edu/brooks100


Presented by the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture (CSRPC), Beacon Press, Seminary Co-op Bookstores, and the Logan Center for the Arts.

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This venue is physically accessible. Please contact the Logan Center at 773.702.2787 with any questions or accommodation requests.