In what is being called “Our Miss Brooks: A Centennial Celebration,” five winners of the Pulitzer Prize in poetry will read from the works of longtime Chicago resident Gwendolyn Brooks — the first African-American to win the Pulitzer for poetry. She served as the Illinois Poet Laureate from 1968 until her death at age 83 in 2000.
The 6 p.m. Thursday event at the Rubloff Auditorium at the Art Institute of Chicago will feature Brooks readings by Yusef Komunyakaa, Natasha Trethewey, Tracy K. Smith, Gregory Pardio and Rita Dove, who celebrates the 30th anniversary of her own Pulitzer award this year. The five poets will also read their own works.
This event is tied to the centenary of Brooks’ birth in Topeka, Kansas, on June 7, 1918.