Kennedy-King College Professor Angela Jackson to Serve as Fifth Illinois Poet Laureate


Kennedy-King College professor Angela Jackson has been selected to serve as the fifth Illinois Poet Laureate, a prestigious position selected by a committee of experts and subsequently appointed by the Governor.

Professor Jackson is an accomplished and award-winning poet, novelist, and playwright, who has published three chapbooks, four volumes of poetry, two novels and a biography about former Poet Laureate and mentor Gwendolyn Brooks. As Illinois’ next poet laureate, Professor Jackson will work to promote poetry at the state and national levels. She will join only four other esteemed poets who have previously held this coveted position.

Among the many awards that Professor Jackson has received, she is also a recipient of the Shelley Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America, a Pushcart Prize, the Illinois Center for the Book Heritage Award, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Fuller Award, and the Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent at Chicago State University. In addition to her poetry, Jackson’s novels and plays have also been widely recognized, and she has earned two American Book Awards.

Professor Jackson has been a faculty member at Kennedy-King College since 1997, devoting herself to teaching students about the value and importance of writing and literature, and is a valued member of the KKC community.

Professor Jackson says, “Kennedy-King is a part of me. Its life and students kept me grounded and reaching at the same time. I want to tell them, ‘You can accomplish what you will and work for.’ I didn’t set out to be Poet Laureate. I set out to be excellent.”

You can read more here.