In this course, we will study the brilliant and diverse work of the poet Gwendolyn Brooks--her breadth, her rhyme, her meter, her syntax, her vibrant, living, lucid diction and imagery. Her range. Gwendolyn Brooks was, among other things, a highly prolific master of the form whose work might be compared to that of a documentary-maker or historian--deeply steeped in the social, political concerns of her time. We will study her life, artistic arc, and concerns as they relate to craft, social responsibility, and community. All the while students will be writing in response to her concerns, learning about her craft choices through imitation poems and experiments, and formulating/writing their own small series or body of work that, in some formal/structural way, is in conversation with one of Brooks' projects. This course will be reading, writing, and workshop-intensive. Assignments include: one recitation, two presentations, weekly workshops and experiments, and a 10-page (minimum) series or portfolio. Prerequisites: students should have taken at least two college-level creative writing courses.