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Gwendolyn Brooks, Consultant in Poetry: A Resource Guide

About Gwendolyn Brooks at the Library of Congress

Gwendolyn Brooks served as the Library of Congress's 29th Consultant in Poetry, serving from 1985-1986. The links below provide more information about her activities at the Library, including webcasts, blog posts, and related news releases.

Gwendolyn Brooks on the Library's Website

On May 6, 1985, Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin announced the appointment of Gwendolyn Brooks as the Library's 29th Consultant in Poetry. 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.

Gwendolyn Brooks' acceptance letter for the position of Honorary Consultant in American Letters. 1973. Manuscript Department, Library of Congress.

Gwendolyn Brooks played a large part in the Library of Congress's literary activities before she became Consultant in Poetry. Brooks served as an Honorary Consultant in American Letters to the Library of Congress between 1973 and 1976. She was close friends with many of the previous Consultants and Librarians of Congress, such as Quincy Mumford, and participated in a number of poetry readings at the Library of Congress, especially during Black History month.

Although Brooks only served a one-year term, she was very active during that year. She enthusiastically answered every letter she received in office, and accepted most requests to read and talk in the D.C. area. In one letter to an aspiring poet, she wrote:

Thank you for your funny note... but-- the conditions are hardly similar! I was a sixteen-year-old (yes, I was once sixteen)-- and James Weldon Johnson was this gr-r-eat, accomplished poet-supreme. Whereas, you and I are colleagues! Your poetry is exciting-- it is nimble and ready. I could say to you what I say to myself: revise revise revise.

Library of Congress press releases about Gwendolyn Brooks' poet laureate appointment, activities, and events are listed below.

Brooks has been featured on the Library of Congress's blogs. These blog posts are linked below:

The Library of Congress features several recordings of Gwendolyn Brooks reading her poetry as well as being interviewed. These links are listed below:

Webcasts and Recordings

Other Recordings