Once again, B provides an embarassment of riches when looking for Awesome Lady Authors. Check it out: the Brontë sisters, Francesca Lia Block, Judy Blume, Octavia Butler, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Lillian Jackson Braun (wait, is she a J or a B?), Elizabeth Barrett Browning (a double-B!). How will I ever choose?!

Since April is also National Poetry Month, I decided to feature a poet today: the awesome Gwendolyn Brooks.

Gwendolyn Brooks image (with sweet-ass typewriter) via Song of a Wandering Soul

If you know Ms. Brooks, it is probably through her best-known poem “We Real Cool.” If you don’t know her at all, you should listen to her read the poem here.

Brooks was the Poet Laureate of Illinois in 1968, and lived most of her life in Chicago. She was the first African-American writer to win the Pulitzer Prize. She was also a highly political writer, covering topics ranging from Malcolm X and Nelson Mandela to “healthy rebellion” (in her poem “Riot”) and black publishing houses.

Basically, Gwendolyn Brooks was a highly decorated female writer in her time, and she never let politics or critics prevent her from saying exactly what she believed. Rock on, Ms. B!

Do you have a favorite poet or B-named author?

P.S. In case you’re interested, my Pirates vs Ninjas blog is also participating in the A to Z Challenge with “Ninja Weapons from A to Z,” so check it out!