Pulitzer Prize winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks died of cancer on December 3 at her home in Chicago, Illinois. Brooks, the first black woman to win the Pulitzer, published hundreds of poems, most of them portraying black women and addressing racism in America. Her critically acclaimed work tackled racism, poverty, and sexism, as she created characters and images often overlooked in art, combining superb technique with a message of social change. Brooks began writing poetry at the age of 11, and had her first book published in 1945. Her second collection of poems, “Annie Allen,” received the Pulitzer in 1950. Brooks received many awards over her lifetime, including being named 1994 Jefferson Lecturer by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the highest honor given by the government for work in the humanities.