From left to right: Parneshia Jones (moderator) Toi Derricotte, Nikky Finney, Angela Jackson, Patricia Smith, and Vievee Francis.RoundTable photo

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As part of the Evanston Literary Festival, Northwestern University Press/TriQuarterly Books presented renowned poets Toi Derricotte, Nikky Finney, Vievee Francis, Angela Jackson, and Patricia Smith.

The program was called “Black Women as Giants: A Celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks.” These distinguished poets read from their works and celebrated one of the most influential poets of the 20th century.

Gwendolyn Brooks was the first black to win a Pulitzer Prize, the first black woman appointed to the Library of Congress as a poetry consultant, and the first
named Poet Laureate of Illinois. She was also selected by the National Endowments for the Humanities as a Jefferson Lecturer, the highest award given by the federal government.