Cover image for In Montgomery, and other poems
In Montgomery, and other poems
Brooks, Gwendolyn, 1917-2000.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Chicago : Third World Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
ix, 147 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3503.R7244 I48 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PS3503.R7244 I48 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PS3503.R7244 I48 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PS3503.R7244 I48 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

On Order



Composed of three sections, this collection features the final poems of the late poet laureate of Illinois.

Author Notes

Gwendolyn Brooks was born on June 17, 1917 in Topeka, Kansas. She graduated from Wilson Junior College in Chicago in 1936 and received her L.H.D. (Doctor of Humane Letters) from Columbia College in 1964. She was the author of more than twenty books of poetry, including Children Coming Home, Blacks, To Disembark, The Near-Johannesburg Boy and Other Poems, Riot, In the Mecca, The Bean Eaters, and A Street in Bronzeville. In 1950, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for Annie Allen. She wrote numerous other books including a novel, Maud Martha, Report from Part One: An Autobiography, a book of poetry for children Bronzeville Boys and Girls, and several children's fiction books. She was named Poet Laureate of Illinois in 1968. 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. She died on December 3, 2000.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The beloved Chicago poet's many fans will welcome this posthumous collection consisting primarily of dramatic monologues in a stunning variety of voices, from those of urban children to Winnie Mandela's. Reading the title sequence resembles randomly tuning a radio dial to listen to the diverse voices of Montgomery, Alabama, a city of leaning and lostness, glazed paralysis. Despite apathy and fear, Brooks finds hope: there will be changes, a dark-dapper politician tells her, the determined knocking / on doors that are closed. Especially moving are the children's monologues. Tinsel Marie tells of loving to learn about nothing necessary, such as the tropical flowers she will never see in her crack-filthy home; Merle, of the uncle who likes me too much and of fearing the future; Al, of fighting the dealers and getting beaten for his iron spirit. Neither idealizing nor pitying them, Brooks captures the fierce purity of these children's needs and desires. Her loving witness never sounded more clearly than in these late poems. --Patricia Monaghan Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

The first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, Brooks (1917-2000) moved from early, formally intricate verse about American life, through a brilliantly jagged free verse attuned to the turbulence of the late 1960s, into a populist hortatory style that reached a very wide audience. Brooks prepared this new-and-selected volume shortly before her death; its titular sequence, published in Ebony in 1971, has never appeared in book form. That sequence praises Alabama's civil rights workers, incorporating their speech and giving the flavor and the micro-history of that important period as few other poets could. The selection concludes with the pivotal, and critically admired, long poem "In the Mecca" (1968), a harrowing narrative set in a Chicago housing project. The rest of the book collects poems from Brooks's later phase, many of them about or addressed to the young; the sequence "Children Coming Home" consists of short, moving verse-monologues by boys and girls from Chicago's South Side. Other poems praise named individuals, from the social reformer Jane Addams to a deceased child to Danny Glover ("Danny Glover is/ a good poem"). An ode to Winnie Mandela ("the She of our vision, the Code") appears now as Brooks's last ambitious work, and includes a deservedly proud mission statement: "We blue-print/ not merely our survival but a flowering." (Oct.) Forecast: Because it is in effect a memorial volume, and because it includes poems not in Brooks's 1987 collected Blacks, this volume could inspire widespread reviews: much depends on the distribution Third World (Brooks's publisher since the 1980s) achieves. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In this posthumous collection, Brooks offers incisive portraits of the famous (Martin Luther King) and the unknown (19 cows out walking) but fittingly opens with "In Montgomery," where "the civilrightsmen and civilrightswomen/ hit it out as hatchets with velvet on." (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.