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Murphy, Thomas H. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Vol. 70, Number 2 (Nov. 1968)

People and projects,   pp. 17-23


Page 17


People
and
Projects
Pulitzer Poet To
Join Faculty
G WENDOLYN BROOKS, Pu-
    litzer Prize poet from Chicago,
will be the Visiting Rennebohm pro-
fessor of creative writing next spring
at the University.
  The Chicago writer will join the
English department faculty for the
second semester of the 1968-69 aca-
demic year. Only three other dis-
tinguished persons in the arts have
held a Rennebohm professorship-
Elizabeth Bowen, Anglo-Irish au-
thor, Isaac Bashevis Singer, writer of
Yiddish fiction, and Alec Wilder,
American composer of both classical
and popular music.
   Some critics consider Miss Brooks
one of the great poets of the age;
November, 1968
some have called her a writer whose
work possesses "a simple beauty that
is almost unbearable." Much of the
Brooks poetry voices the pathos and
pain of life in Chicago's Black Belt.
Except for the fact of birth (Topeka,
Kans., June 7, 1917) Gwendolyn
Brooks is entirely a Chicago product.
  To her credit to date are six vol-
umes of poetry--"A Street in Bronze-
ville," 1945, "Annie Allen," 1949,
"Bronzeville Boys and Girls," 1956,
"The Bean Eaters," 1960, "Selected
Poems," 1963, and "In the Mecca,"
1968; and one novel-"Maude
Martha.__"
AAAJOR-RECOGNITIONL for her
     talent began coming her way
in the 1940's and includes the Ameri-
can Academy of Arts and Letters
Award for Creative Writing, 1946,
the Guggenheim Fellowship for Cre-
ative Writing, given in 1946 and
again in 1947; the Pulitzer Prize for
Poetry, 1950, and the Monsen Lau-
reate in Literature, 1964.
  Succeeding the late Carl Sandburg
to the honor, Gwendolyn Brooks was
named Poet Laureate for the State
of Illinois this year.
  Madison will not be entirely new
to the poet. She participated in the
Conference on Afro-American Let-
ters and Arts held here in May. As
Rennebohm professor, she will work
with advanced students, helping them
to develop their own creative writing
tnrougn seminars and intormal con-
ferences. She comes to Wisconsin
especially fitted for the task; the poet
has already taught in Chicago area
colleges and remembering her own
long, lonely struggle to become a
poet, is ever eager to ease the way
for others.
  In a recent article on Miss Brooks,
Ebony Magazine points out: "She has
had and continues to have on others
in a human way an impact that com-
plements her importance as a writer.
For behind her public image of ex-
treme reserve this gentle woman of
51 years has used her talents and
influence to encourage the young and
aspiring in all quietness and without
regard to self."
  In private life the Wisconsin visitor
is Mrs. Henry Blakely, a Chicago
housewife and the mother of a son,
Henry, Jr., and a daughter, Nora.
Robert Taylor Is
Vice President
UNIVERSITY REGENTS have
appointed Robert Taylor-assistant
to three UW presidents since he
joined the faculty 20 years ago-vice
president. He will continue as profes-
sor of journalism and as coordinator
of news and publications work on all
the campuses in addition to central
administration responsibilities. Prof.
Taylor's promotion was recom-
mended by President Fred Harvey
Harrington "to give greater attention
to the growing public concern about
University policies." Vice Pres. Tay-
lor has often served as the-University
"7 .,-T ,'-,,
administration's spokesman and as
draftsman for many of its policies,
position papers, and public reports.
Since the rise of student activism on
the UW campuses, he has repre-
sented the central administration in
planning and policy development in
this area.
Growing African Studies
Program To Get New Impetus
In Summer Of 1969
T HE INTENSIVE PROGRAM in
    African languages sponsored by
12 U. S. universities each summer
will be held for the first time at the
University of Wisconsin at Madison
in 1969.
   Duquesne university was host in
1964, 1966, 1967 and 1968, and
                                17
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