New Book about African-American Literary Icon Gwendolyn Brooks

Written by admin   // September 3, 2012   // Comments Off

Religious Allusion in the Poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks by New Jersey English Professor and Author Margot Harper Banks is a fascinating new book about literary genius Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950. The book has well-researched biblical commentary, meticulous literary analysis and a chapter-length biography complemented by an interview with daughter, Nora Brooks Blakely. Religious Allusion is the first critical book on Brooks’ work to be published in nearly a decade though Brooks was an American literary giant, who had immeasurable influence on American Modern Poetry. She published more than 30 books and was awarded more than 75 honorary degrees before her death in 2000. Yet, the number of scholarly books examining her work does not reflect her stature in American Letters. Banks’ extraordinary book is a major contribution to African American literary scholarship.

Dr. Margot Harper Banks is a Professor of English at Kean University, Union, New Jersey, where she coordinated the Freshman College Composition Program for 24 years. As former chair of the Kean University Writers Series, she met Gwendolyn Brooks there in 2000. A native of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, Banks and her family reside in Orange, New Jersey. She holds a B.A. from Long Island University, M.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and Ed.D. from Rutgers University. She is a lifelong member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and serves as Steward Pro-Tem at Bethel A.M.E. Church, Vauxhall, New Jersey. Dr. Banks is a member of the College Language Association, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, National Life member of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and a charter member of the Greater North Jersey Chapter of The Society Inc.

In addition to articles written for professional journals, Dr. Banks edited two freshman composition texts, Issues and the Individual (McGraw Hill, 2001, 2002) and Comment and Controversy in Today’s World (Pearson, 2006). She has also engaged in intensive Bible Study for more than 10 years in Bible Study Fellowship. For additional information contact the author at Please use Religious Allusion as the subject.


African American





Gwendolyn Brooks


Margot Harper Banks



Pulitzer Prize for Poetry


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