Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks (Hardcover)
On Our Shelves Now
A picture-book biography of celebrated poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize
A 2021 Coretta Scott King Book Award Illustrator Honor Book
A 2021 Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor Book
A 2021 Association of Library Service to Children Notable Children's Book
Gwendolyn Brooks (1917–2000) is known for her poems about “real life.” She wrote about love, loneliness, family, and poverty—showing readers how just about anything could become a beautiful poem. Exquisite follows Gwendolyn from early girlhood into her adult life, showcasing her desire to write poetry from a very young age. This picture-book biography explores the intersections of race, gender, and the ubiquitous poverty of the Great Depression—all with a lyrical touch worthy of the subject. Gwendolyn Brooks was the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize, receiving the award for poetry in 1950. And in 1958, she was named the poet laureate of Illinois. A bold artist who from a very young age dared to dream, Brooks will inspire young readers to create poetry from their own lives.
About the Author
Suzanne Slade is the award-winning author of many books for children, including several about other groundbreaking women, such as Dangerous Jane and A Computer Called Katherine. Slade lives in Libertyville, Illinois. Cozbi A. Cabrera holds a BFA from Parsons School of Design. She has illustrated several books for children and is also well known for her handmade cloth dolls. Cabrera lives in Evanston, Illinois.
"The biography’s awestruck, reverent tone is matched by the gorgeous acrylic paintings. . . A visually remarkable and inspiring introduction to the life of Gwendolyn Brooks."
— School Library Journal
"Cabrera’s strong, carefully composed acrylic illustrations beautifully evoke both the joy and the hardship in Brooks’s everyday life and in the life of the community that inspired her. Slade’s attention to detail, vigorous prose, and judicious use of the poet’s own words make this biography, and its subject, stand out."
— Horn Book Magazine
"This fine biography should ignite readers’ interest in exploring Brooks’s exquisite writing."
— Publishers Weekly
"Cabrera's acrylic paint illustrations perfectly exemplify the title. . . A joyfully illustrated celebration of Brooks' good and important work."