News, Books


June 7, 2017 would have been the 100th birthday of poet and Chicago cultural icon Gwendolyn Brooks. To commemorate this occasion, Curbside Splendor will publish Revise the Psalm: Work Inspired by the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks, edited by Quraysh Ali Lansana and Sandra Jackson-Opoku, in January 2017. 

Dmitry Samarov

The collection will feature poetry, short fiction and prose, and visual art inspired by Brooks' work and legacy. Confirmed contributors include Avery R. Young, Gregory Pardlo, Adrian Matejka, Marilyn Nelson, Major Jackson, Angela Jackson, Tyehimba Jess, Evie Shockley, and Thomas Sayers Ellis.


Quraysh Ali Lansana is author of eight poetry books, three textbooks, a children's book, editor of eight anthologies, and coauthor of a book of pedagogy. He is a faculty member of the Writing Program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Lansana served as Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University from 2002-2011, where he was also Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing until 2014. Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community (with Georgia A. Popoff) was published in 2011 and was a 2012 NAACP Image Award nominee. His most recent books include The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop (with Kevin Coval and Nate Marshall) and The Walmart Republic (with Christopher Stewart).


Sandra Jackson-Opoku has authored two novels. The River Where Blood is Born earned the American Library Association Black Caucus Award for Best Fiction. Hot Johnny (and the Women Whom Loved Him) was an Essence Magazine bestseller. A third novel in progress is set on islands around the world. Her fiction, poetry, articles, essays, and scripts have been widely published and produced. Her writings appear in Essence Magazine, Los Angeles Times Travel Section, Ms. Magazine, The Literary Traveler, and Islands Magazine, among others. Her work has earned award like the SCBWI Kimberly Colen Award for New Children’s Writing, an American Antiquarian Society Fellowship for Creative Writers, the National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Fellowship, a CCLM/General Electric Fiction Award for Younger Writers, and Illinois Arts Council Finalist Awards. Jackson-Opoku also teaches literature and creative writing at schools, universities, workshops, and youth programs around the world. She has been on faculty at Columbia College Chicago, the University of Miami, Nova Southeastern University, and the Writer’s Studio at the University of Chicago. She currently teaches in the English Department at Chicago State University where she serves as Fiction Coordinator of the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing.

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