Gwendolyn Brooks was an American poet, author, and teacher. Her work often dealt with the personal celebrations and struggles of ordinary people in Black communities in Chicago where she lived. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry on May 1, 1950, for Annie Allen, making her the first African American to receive a Pulitzer Prize. In 1968 she was named poet laureate for the state of Illinois. In 1985, she was the first black woman appointed as consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress, a post now known as Poet Laureate. She also received an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, the Frost Medal, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, the Shelley Memorial Award, and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Guggenheim Foundation.