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Rare Book & Manuscript Library hosting Matter in the Margins: Gwendolyn Brooks at 100 exhibit

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois Library is something else, folks — if you haven’t been there before, you should plan a trip very soon. Such an interesting spot here in Champaign-Urbana.

They’re hosting this upcoming exhibit (that runs September 20th through December 20th) on Gwendolyn Brooks.

Here’s the information about the exhibit (and the Facebook event):

Matter in the Margins: Gwendolyn Brooks at 100

Curated by Anna Chen

This exhibition showcases the literary archives of Gwendolyn E. Brooks (1917–2000), Illinois Poet Laureate and the first black winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Brooks’s papers include youthful poetry and prose, scrapbooks of pieces she published as a young woman, extensive correspondence with a significant roster of other writers, and manuscript drafts and proofs, especially after she left mainstream commercial publishing to produce her works with black-owned presses.

Gwendolyn Brooks was an inveterate note-taker and self-chronicler, and the collection is filled with Post-Its, hotel stationery, and other scraps of paper on which she recorded her daily life and current events. She sketched out future plans and recorded meaningful memories in the flyleaves of notebooks and on the backs of photographs, and she interrogated others’ ideas and narratives in the margins of letters she received and books she read. Through these marginal jottings, Brooks destabilized the idea of finality: their presence transforms seemingly finished, self-contained documents into ongoing conversations and works in progress. This exhibition highlights the ways in which Brooks’s annotations bring attention to the margin as a space that matters. Here, the poet worked out the process of becoming, raising important questions about completion, authority, self-fashioning, and memory.

This exhibition was on view at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago this summer and returns to campus for our fall celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks’s life and legacy.

WHERE: The Rare Book & Manuscript Library — Ellen and Nirmal Chatterjee Exhibition Gallery

346 University Library – 1408 West Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801

WHEN: September 20 through December 20, 2017

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Executive Editor

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