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Gwendolyn Brooks, Consultant in Poetry: A Resource Guide

American poet Gwendolyn Brooks served as U.S. Consultant in Poetry from 1985-1986 at the Library of Congress. This guide provides access to selected print and online resources related to Brooks' life and work.


U.S. Consultant in Poetry, Gwendolyn Brooks, 1985-1986. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

On May 6, 1985, Gwendolyn Brooks was appointed to the position of Consultant in Poetry by Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin. During her appointment announcement, Boorstin noted:

[Brooks] writes in lyrics in a world overshadowed by polemics. She brings high honor and a distinctive voice to the company of Poetry Consultants.

Gwendolyn Brooks previously was offered the position in the fall of 1972 by Librarian of Congress Quincy Mumford, but decided that she was too dedicated to her family and the local African American poetry community in Chicago to move to Washington. She served as an Honorary Consultant in American Letters to the Library of Congress between 1973 and 1976 before being named the 29th Consultant in Poetry in 1985. Brooks held the Consultantship for one year, serving as the final Consultant before the title of the position was changed to Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.

This guide provides an overview of print and online resources related to Brooks' life and work. To suggest additions to this guide, please contact the Library's poetry and literature reference librarians.

Contact Information for Gwendolyn Brooks

If you would like to contact Gwendolyn Brooks please direct your inquiries as suggested below:

  • Permissions Requests: Contact the publisher of the poem or work written by Gwendolyn Brooks that you'd like to use.
  • Reference Questions: Use the Library's Ask a Librarian service.