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  • U. of I. Library acquires archives of acclaimed writer Gwendolyn Brooks

    The Rare Book and Manuscript Library has acquired the literary archives of the poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize and poet laureate of Illinois for more than 30 years.

    The Rare Book and Manuscript Library has acquired the literary archives of the poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize and poet laureate of Illinois for more than 30 years.

    Photo courtesy Nora Brooks Blakely

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      The Rare Book and Manuscript Library has acquired the literary archives of the poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize and poet laureate of Illinois for more than 30 years.

      Photo courtesy Nora Brooks Blakely

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      Brooks kept a meticulous record of everything she ate, and occasionally added verse fragments, grocery shopping lists and notes about news.

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      A homemade chap book of poems that Gwendolyn Brooks wrote in her teenage years is just one of the items contained in the her literary archives, which now belong to the U. of I. Rare Books and Manuscript Library.

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      Brooks' daughter, Nora Brooks Blakely, said her mother always carried tissues. Here, Brooks apparently left one inside the notebook containing her ideas for the poem "The Life of Lincoln West."

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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  • To contact Valerie Hotchkiss, email vhotchki@illinois.edu.