Illinois Humanities is proud to revitalize the Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards.
Gwendolyn Brooks summed up the contest best in a note from 1977: “All the children who entered the contest are winners . . . . They worked hard. They created. And that is what is important.” With this spirit in mind, we’d like to thank everyone who submitted a poem. We’d also like to thank all of the teachers, librarians, parents, afterschool mentors, and others who supported and nurtured young writers throughout Illinois: you’re supporting the next generation of poets in Illinois!
Below are photos from the Gwendolyn Brooks archive at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library and more information on the history of the Awards.