Art Shay photo
I photographed poet Gwendolyn Brooks for Time Magazine in the mid-`60s. I had read her 1945 book, "A Street in Bronzeville," on Algren's recommendation. She told me what a hard time she had getting her start. She worked part time as a secretary. Even the Lights and Shadows poetry column in the Chicago Defender turned her down. She attended Wilson Junior College and eventually got a Guggenheim Fellowship and, in 1950, a Pulitzer Prize. Poetry magazine tapped her, as did J.F.K., for a poetry festival. I took another photo in her hallway using her double image in a mirror--she liked that--but she really became comfortable on her tiny front porch.