ROSELAND — Chicago State University will honor famed author and poet Gwendolyn Brooks, a former faculty member, by renaming its library in her honor Thursday.
The library, currently referred to as the New Academic Library, will be known as the Gwendolyn Brooks Library following a 6:30 p.m. ceremony Thursday on the fourth floor of the library at 9501 S. King Dr.
Special guests scheduled to attend include scholar/activist Cornel West, who will be a speaker at an event leading up to the renaming ceremony; Nora Brooks Blakely, the daughter of Gwendolyn Brooks; Haki Madhubuti, a former professor at Chicago State University for 26 years; and Tyehimba Jess, a Pulitzer Prize winner for his book “Olio.”
Brooks served as the Distinguished Professor of English at Chicago State University. She also was affiliated with several other academic institutions over the years.
Chicago State has previously recognized Brooks’ excellence on campus. In 1990, the university founded The Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing.
Brooks was the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1950 for her piece “Annie Allen.” She was named Illinois Poet Laureate in 1968. She won the Robert Frost Medal for lifetime achievement from the Poetry Society in America in 1989 and she won the National Medal of Arts in 1995.
Born in Topeka, Kan. in 1917, Brooks grew up in Chicago. She died of cancer in Chicago in 2000 at age 83.
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