BrooksDay’s success and impact as an event is built strongly on participation and attendance.

Here are a few talking points and links to learn more about the event and its namesake aimed to turn each visitor here into an informed advocate capable of sharing why celebrating the life and work of Gwendolyn Brooks is important.

About BrooksDay

  • BrooksDay is a celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks that takes place on the anniversary of her birth, June 7th.
  • Each year we honor her legacy as an artist and an iconic figure of generosity and civic conscience in Chicago and in the nation.
  • And 2017 will be all the more spectacular with the City of Chicago and its myriad arts organizations celebrating Brooks during the 2107 centennial.
  • BrooksDay is the marquee event for these celebrations –an evening of Gwendolyn Brooks on her 100th birthday.

About Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks was a highly regarded, much-honored poet, with the distinction of being the first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize.  She also was poetry consultant to the Library of Congress also known as the Poet Laureate—the first black woman to hold that position—and poet laureate of the State of Illinois.

Many of Brooks’s works display a political consciousness, especially those from the 1960s and later, with several of her poems reflecting the civil rights activism of that period. Her body of work gave her, according to Dictionary of Literary Biography contributor George E. Kent, “a unique position in American letters. Not only has she combined a strong commitment to racial identity and equality with a mastery of poetic techniques, but she has also managed to bridge the gap between the academic poets of her generation in the 1940s and the young black militant writers of the 1960s.”

(from  a MUST READ that contains an extended bibliography, critical assessment of her work and its placement in the cannon of American Poetry, audio recordings of her readings, and much-much more )

About BrooksDay@Nite

  • BrooksDay@Nite will be hosted at
    • Logan Center for the Arts
      915 E 60th St, Chicago, Illinois 60637
  •  June 7, 2017 will be the 5th BrooksDay
  • Tickets are available online at

About BrooksDay@Nite production team

  • Co-Chairs
    • Nora Brooks Blakely, President BROOKS PERMISSIONS
    • Lisa Wagner, Executive Director of Guild Literary Complex
  • Steering Committee
    • Rosellen Brown
    • Andrea Change
    • Gwendolyn Mitchell
    • Michael Puican
    • Krystal Grover Webb
  • Event Coordinator

About the Guild Literary Complex

The Guild Literary Complex is a 501c3 nonprofit bringing together the varied voices of Chicago and the world through innovative and integrative programming highlighting the intersections of marginality, the power of community, the impact of arts and activism, with a mission of social justice and literary arts for all. We are your on-going curated literary festival serving Chicago’s 50 wards since 1989.

For the last 27 years, the Guild Literary Complex has been a Chicago–based literary organization presenting and supporting diverse, divergent, and emerging voices through programming that is as dynamic as Chicago itself. Actively working with individuals and organizations from all of Chicago’s many neighborhoods, the Guild seeks to connect seemingly disparate groups and geographies through literature—bringing unexpected writers, programs, and audiences together.
Working in collaboration with the City of Chicago and organizations like the Poetry Foundation, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, The Southeast Asian Center, Brooks Permissions, Third World Press, Sones de Mexico, Studio Gang Architects, American Writers Museum, International Cities of Refuge Network, About Face Theatre, and many others, their missions and visions contribute significantly to the breadth, depth, and resonance of Guild programs the Guild Literary Complex, each helping to create dynamic programming highlighting our varied and robust literary community speaking from and giving voice to the margins.


  • Managing the literary works of acclaimed writer, Gwendolyn Brooks, while demonstrating the continued relevance of her work in the 21st century and beyond.
  • Founded in 2001, was initially created as the official licensing firm for the literary works of Gwendolyn Brooks after her passing in 2000.  Offering products and programming, which will shed more light on the life and works of Ms. Brooks.
  • Brooks Permissions processes numerous requests for Ms. Brooks’ works annually, working with mainstream, educational, and independent publishers, as well as individual artists for projects ranging from literary anthologies and academic course packs to theatrical performances, multimedia projects and more.
  • Key Staff
    • Nora Brooks Blakely
    • Cynthia A. Walls
    • Pamela Williams
  • (773) 324-4844