Gwendolyn Brooks (June 7, 1917 December 3, 2000) was an award-winning African American woman poet. Born in Topeka, Kansas, she grew up in and remained in Chicago, Illinois. Although she also wrote a novel, an autobiography and some other prose works, she was noted primarily as a poet. Her 1949 book of poetry, Annie Allen, received a Pulitzer Prize, the first won by an African American. In 1968, she was made Poet Laureate of Illinois. Other awards she received included the Frost Medal, the Shelley Memorial Award, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters award.