“[A] superb tribute . . . [an] essential collection” of essays analyzing the works of the preeminent twentieth-century poet and voice of social justice (Booklist).
Winner of the Central New York Book Award for Nonfiction
Finalist for the Chicago Review of Books Award
Poet, educator, and social activist Gwendolyn Brooks was a singular force in American culture.
The first black woman to be named United States poet laureate, Brook’s poetry, fiction, and social commentary shed light on the beauty of humanity, the distinct qualities of black life and community, and the destructive effects of racism, sexism, and class inequality.
A collection of thirty essays combining critical analysis and personal reflection, The Whiskey of Our Discontent, presents essential elements of Brooks’ oeuvre—on race, gender, class, community, and poetic craft, while also examining her life as poet, reporter, mentor, sage, activist, and educator.
**“Gwendolyn Brooks wrote and performed her magnificent poetry for and about the Black people of Chicago, and yet it was also read with anguish, delight, and awe by white people, successive waves of immigrants, and ultimately the world.” —**Bill Ayers, from the Introduction