Reading the Black Library: Celebrating Brooks with Poetry Center


** ATTENTION ATTENDEES for Reading the Black Library: Celebrating Brooks with Poetry Center ! The Bank had a power surge this morning so we will be re-locating to the BING reading room which is on 307 E Garfield Blvd and is just across the street from Garfield Green line stop. Thanks! **

Join the Poetry Center of Chicago at BING Art Books (307 E Garfield Blvd) on March 8 from 6:30-8 PM for a Gwendolyn Brooks inspired collaboration between the Reading the Black Library Series and Six Points Reading Series! Curated and hosted by Natasha Mijares.

We are pleased to welcome Quraysh Ali Lansana and Sandra Jackson-Opoku, editors of “Revise the Psalm: Work Inspired by the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks” release by Curbside Splendor Publishing. The collection features poetry, short fiction and prose, and visual art inspired by Brooks’ work and legacy.

QURAYSH ALI LANSANA is author of eight poetry books, three textbooks, three children’s books, editor of eight anthologies, and coauthor of a book of pedagogy. He is a faculty member of the Writing Program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a former faculty member of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School. Lansana served as Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University from 2002-2011, where he was also Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing until 2014. Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community (with Georgia A. Popoff) was published in March 2011 by Teachers & Writers Collaborative and was a 2012 NAACP Image Award nominee. His most recent books include Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writings of Gwendolyn Brooks w/Sandra Jackson-Opoku (Curbside Splendor, 2017); A Gift from Greensboro (Penny Candy Books, 2016); The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop w/Kevin Coval and Nate Marshall (Haymarket Books, 2015) and The Walmart Republic w/ Christopher Stewart (Mongrel Empire Press, 2014). Forthcoming titles include: Clara Luper: The Woman Who Rallied the Children w/Julie Dill (Oklahoma Hall of Fame Press, 2017) and purple basement: poems fresh & slightly bruised (Curbside Splendor, TBD).

SANDRA JACKSON-OPOKU is the author of two novels. The American Library Association Black Caucus award-winning The River Where Blood is Born was listed in Best Novels of the Nineties: A Readers Guide. Hot Johnny (and the Women Whom Loved Him) was an Essence Magazine Hardcover Fiction Bestseller in 2001. Her fiction, poetry, essays, reviews, and travel articles appear in the Los Angeles Times, Ms. Magazine, The Literary Traveller, Transitions Abroad, Rolling Out, Soul of America, and many other outlets. With poet Quraysh Ali Lansana she coedited the anthology, Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks.

Books available for sale following the reading from City Lit Books.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.