Carl Phillips on Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks

Build with lithe love. With love like lion-eyes.
With love like morningrise.
With love like black, our black — 

— Gwendolyn Brooks

“Until 1967 my own blackness did not confront me with a shrill spelling of itself,” poet Gwendolyn Brooks wrote in Report from Part One, after attending the Second Black Writers’ Conference at Fisk University.

In this three-part seminar, Carl Phillips will explore the trajectory of Brooks's work, from her mastery of traditional English prosody to her embrace of the Black Arts Movement’s imperative to speak specifically to a Black audience, “wrestling with, straddling, and ultimately reconciling the seeming conflict between English prosody and the language of black revolution,” as Phillips wrote in his 2017 essay, “Brooks’s Prosody: Three Sermons on the Warpland.”

Class meets from 2:30 - 3:45 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 16; Friday, April 26; and Friday, May 3.

Phillips will reference poems collected in The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks (Library of America, 2013) or Blacks (Third World Press, 1994), which registrants are encouraged to buy.

This live, virtual course is structured to encourage participation. Registrants will receive Zoom links a week before each session, a day before each session, and the morning of each session. Class recordings will be made available within forty-eight hours of a session. All recordings and class material will remain available for thirty days after the final session.

Scholarship applications must be submitted by Friday, April 12 at 5 p.m. EDT.

For information on how to register, how to receive the member discount, how to apply for a scholarship, how to access recordings and course materials, and more, please visit our FAQ page.

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Sessions in this seminar
Session title
Phillips on Brooks: Session 1
Apr 16th, 2024 2:30pm – 3:45pm EDT
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Session title
Phillips on Brooks: Session 2
Apr 26th, 2024 2:30pm – 3:45pm EDT
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Session title
Phillips on Brooks: Session 3
May 3rd, 2024 2:30pm – 3:45pm EDT
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Carl Phillips

Carl Phillips

Carl Phillips’ most recent books are Then the War: And Selected Poems, 2007–2020 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022), winner of the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and My Trade Is Mystery: Seven Meditations from a Life in Writing (Yale University Press, 2022). His numerous honors include the 2006 Academy of American Poets Fellowship, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 2021 Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets and Writers, induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Library of Congress. Phillips served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2006 to 2011. He is currently a professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis.

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Seminar Resources

Registered attendees get access to live session links, recordings of past sessions, and all seminar materials.