Annie Allen

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First edition (publ. Harper & Brothers)

Annie Allen is a book of poetry by Gwendolyn Brooks that was published in 1949, and for which she received the Pulitzer Prize in 1950.[1] This made her the first African American to ever receive a Pulitzer Prize.

The work consists of three parts about an African-American girl, Annie, growing into womanhood. The first part, titled "Notes from the Childhood and Girlhood", includes 11 poems giving glimpses into Annie's birth, her mother, and her reaction to racism, killing, and death. "The Anniad", a mock heroic poem divided into 43 stanzas and three "Appendix" poems, tells of Annie's dreams of a lover who goes to war, returns to her, marries her, leaves her, and comes back home to die. The last section, "The Womanhood", shows Annie's outlook on a world she would like to change. The book of poetry shows how Annie has changed from an egotistic romantic to a realistic idealist.


  1. ^ "Annie Allen", The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature.