Event: 05/25/2017 – 05/28/2017
Abstract: 01/20/2017
Location: Boston, MA
Organization: American Literature Association

ALA 2017: Gwendolyn Brooks at 100

In “Gwendolyn Brooks at 73,” Haki Madhubuti compared Brooks’s mind to “a tornado redefining the landscape.” The landscape of contemporary literature has been changed by her poems: “poems with muscle and sinew, poems that weren’t afraid to take the language and revamp it, twist it and energize it so that it shimmied and dashed and lingered,” in the words of Rita Dove. At least two new collections—Quraysh Ali Lansana and Sandra Jackson-Opoku’s Revise the Psalm, and Peter Kahn, Ravi Shankar, and Patricia Smith’s The Golden Shovel Anthology—will celebrate her centennial in 2017.

This proposed ALA session is also in honor of Brooks’s June 2017 centennial; it seeks papers on any aspect of Brooks’s writing and career. Talks that reassess her legacy are especially welcome: possible topics might include her influence on recent poetry, or recent poetry’s tributes to her; her recordings, notebooks, or manuscripts; or her poetry in the 2017 classroom.

To propose a paper, please send a 250-word abstract, a note on any a/v needs, and a short bio to Calista McRae (mcrae@njit.edu), no later than January 20, 2017. The panel and its accepted abstracts will then be submitted to the ALA for review. More information about the ALA’s annual conference is available at <http://americanliteratureassociation.org/ala-conferences/ala-annual-conference/general-call-for-papers/>