Gwendolyn Brooks Center

Gwendolyn Brook Typewriter


The mission of the Brooks Center is to strengthen the humanities in general and promote the study of Black writers to a local, national, and international community of students, facility, and the general public.


The Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing, founded in 1990, is inspired by the late Gwendolyn Brooks, a Distinguished Professor of English at CSU, former Poet Laureate of Illinois, and the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize. The Center is a literary and cultural center invested in researching, teaching, and disseminating information about acclaimed Black writers, especially the life and works of Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000).
Ms. Brooks had a special commitment to young writers from Illinois primary and secondary schools. Through her commitment and efforts, young writers were given the opportunity to be celebrated for their creative talents. Ms. Brooks enhanced, enriched, and embraced language on an international scale. She was awarded over 75 honorary doctorates and was a sought-after speaker known for her giving and compassionate spirit. 

Programs and Services

  • Poetry Month Festival
  • Gwendolyn Brooks Birthday Celebration
  • Gwendolyn Brooks Black Writers’ Conference
  • Brooks Fellows: Master Classes
  • Various literary events

Support the Gwendolyn Brooks Center

We are thankful for the support of the University and local community. You can help the Center fulfill our mission through your financial contributions, partnerships and volunteering. Financial contributions are greatly needed, appreciated and are tax-deductible.

Online Giving

Online donations can be made privately and securely via credit card through the CSU Foundation. Remember to select “Gwendolyn Brooks Center” in the Designated Donation Box. Click here to donate today.

Giving by Mail

All checks and money orders should be made payable to