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An interview with Gwendolyn Brooks

I’m eligible with the library of congress we are here today for a conversation with woodland Brooks, this brooks’ just completing her term was the 29th Consultant in Poetry for the library of congress. She has a distinguished career as a poet having been unnamed a as the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize as an sees the poet laureate of the state of Illinois in many other owners have come her way, it’s an honor for us to have her here today to talk with a with me is Ethelbert Miller who is a poet himself and director the afro-american Resource Center at Howard University, and I might add a long time fan love when Lynn Brooks.

Miss Brooks: Your visit here at the library of congress has stirred up all sorts of excitement with people here all have to report this to you as a as a staff member the library, a everybody’s been tremendously enthusiastic about the way you have thrown yourself into the task of being Consultant in Poetry and particularly I keep hearing stories about how you always find time to talk to anybody who comes and to write them letters. Even with children or perhaps especially with children you seem to take time out to work with them have you always been that way with children.

Miss Brook says, yes I do enjoy working with children and talking with them they are amazing I had about 30 children in this very poetry room, about a week ago and a time we had they talked about not just poetry but about their grandmothers, about bear, about Pizza, and about hair, But to what I came here I thought that’s what I was supposed to do to I share my feelings about poetry with anyone who was interested.

You have into the win a poetry and you want when I think you 33 which is I guess as a ride would be very young enter the winning that title war always any sort of jealousy from some EU peers and turns the it is always said you when the pulitzer prize at 33, 32. If there was they didn’t tell me and I was too excited and happy to be looking for, it is that fair evidences my friends were seemingly very proud and happy it was something that hadn’t happened to a black before so they were glad of that score.
A we had a lot of celebrations I remember.

How did you hear about it because it’s always this thing into the person being notified, how did you hear about, where were you when you heard yet won the the Pulitzer Prize. I was at a house that 9134 Wentworth and the lights were out that’s been told that it adds but now a we hadn’t paid the electric bill so there was no electricity, and it was dusk so it was dark in house my son was mad at the time jack’s star a reporter on the sun-times call he is now associated with Chicago Magazine was what the editors do,

recently so he said do you know that you have what the Pulitzer Prize and I said no it screamed over the telephone I couldn’t believe it so he said well it was true and it would be announced the next day, the next day reporters came photographers came with cameras and I was absolutely petrified a I wasn’t gonna say anything about the electricity, I knew that when they put it there where they try to attach their camera at all. Nothing was gonna happen however miraculously somebody turn on the electricity back on that fast I’ve never known exactly what happened, so by side and I danced around in the dusk at the decided we go out to the movies to celebrate, I don’t know what movie it was before us.

Ms Brook: One person go a head tp talk while you are here at library congress, we should do it in or and one thing I was struck by was the closeness between you and her it seem more like sisters as opposed to mother doing and I know she’s been the inspiration to some of you dedicated to her could you talk about their relationship.

Sisters, I think she always remembers that I’m mother, they’re at I remember that she is daughter because I’m still likely to adjust the caller’s something and irritate her that way, but we are good friends and a we see many things I like for instance where a she went to paris, she went to France when she was about 50 she was fifty and she as that the two yes she came back was a natural she had got there with her hair all nicely her old and oiled bitch dieting at I expected her to come back in that way but she came back with a natural at dow way headed hot and heavy that believe it or not. But she a a its good by her decision and that is something I have always admired her she has helped me many times this as have so many of those young people that I met in the sixties out learned a lot from the young.