Illinois Humanities

25 May 2017 / By The Chicago Community Trust Staff

Illinois Humanities is pleased to join the many groups working to honor the legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks this year.

We are doing so by reviving the statewide youth poetry awards that Ms Brooks herself ushered for about 30 years.

Led by Quraysh Ali Lansana, Amina Dickerson, Nora Brooks Blakely and a small brain trust of others lending their talent, expertise and networks, we announced the new edition of the youth poetry awards last week, on April 26, 2017.

We need help getting the word out, as the deadline for this year’s contest is June 22nd. Here are the basics:

  • This contest is open to young people from Kindergarten through 12th grade across the state of Illinois
  • There is a limit of one poem per student, and limits of 16 lines for poems submitted by K-5th graders and 50 lines for 6-12th graders
  • The judges include Nora Blakely Brooks, Kristiana Rae Colon, Tyehimba Jess, C. Russell Price and Kevin Stein
  • Contest winners will be notified by July 28, 2017, and will receive gift certificates, books and public recognition
  • Winning poets will be honored at an event to take place at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts in Hyde Park on Saturday, Oct. 7th

The partnership with the Logan Center is telling – for many years Ms Brooks held the awards ceremony at Mandel Hall on U of C’s campus.

Again, please share this information with others!

For more information, go to

If you have questions, please contact Mark Hallett at Illinois Humanities at

About The Author

The Chicago Community Trust Staff