Past Event

Brooks, Jenkins and Woods: Chicago and Creative Story Telling for Young Authors

In this free workshop for students in grades 9-12, poet and educator Lofty (they/them) will help writers explore the work of local Chicago legends Gwendolyn Brooks, Jamila Woods, and Mick Jenkins, following themes of creativity, the environment, home, chance, reflection, and memory, and tap into their creative inspiration to write original poetry. Guided by our beloved Gwendolyn Brooks’ “The Sunday of Satin-Legs Smith” and “Emerald Street” by Jamila Woods, participants will spend time together reading and in conversation over poetry, and writing. Students will walk away having created a trio of poems of their own.

This workshop is open to students in grades 9-12. It will be hosted at Young Chicago Authors‘ headquarters by C. Lofty Bolling, a poet and teaching artist at YCA. Dinner will be provided for all workshop participants.

Space is limited. To attend, please register below.

About the Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards

This event is presented as a part of Illinois Humanities’ annual Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards. This annual youth poetry competition honors the legacy of Illinois’ own Gwendolyn Brooks: renowned poet, author, and the first Black Pulitzer Prize winner. Each and every one of the young poets who take part in this competition is a part of that legacy. Brooks summed up the contest best in a note in 1977: “All the children who entered the contest are winners… They worked hard. They created. And that is what is important.”

Learn more and submit a poem at