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MEDIA ADVISORY : Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Reading


Contact: Kathleen Maclay



A reading at the University of California, Berkeley, of selected poetry written by the late Gwendolyn Brooks. She was the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize and first African American to be named consultant-in-poetry to the Library of Congress.

The event will celebrate the life of the poet, novelist, children's book author and 1968 Illinois Poet Laureate, who is considered one of the most important African American poets of the 20th century.

WHEN: Noon - 1 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 19), 12-1 p.m., the true birthday of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.  
WHERE: Room 315, the Maude Fife Room at Wheeler Hall, UC Berkeley. Wheeler is just northeast of Sather Gate, near the entrance to the campus at Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way.  
WHO: Readers will be faculty and staff members at UC Berkeley, which recently became home to a substantial share of Brooks' personal papers. The dozen readers include Leon Litwack, a professor of history and winner of the Pulitzer Prize in history, and Vè Vè Clark, an associate professor of African American studies, who will read one of Brooks' most popular poems, "We Real Cool."  

NOTE: Other readings in memory of Brooks will take place tomorrow around the globe, including at a women's group in Warsaw, Poland, in the classroom of teacher Julina Bonilla at Webster Academy in the Oakland Unified School District, and at a gathering of women of color in Kansas City, Kansas.

The UC Berkeley event is co-sponsored by UC Berkeley's African American Studies and English departments, The Bancroft Library and the McNair Scholars Program.