Featured Illinois Poet

Although this website's objective is simply to promote the art of poetry, its special focus is the rich bounty of work created by our state's poets past and present. Through features on the work of Illinois poets, the site will highlight the poetic legacy of Illinois and showcase the bevy of fine poets currently writing within the state.

Biographical Note

Angela JacksonAngela Jackson

Angela Jackson, poet, novelist, playwright was a twenty year member of the OBAC (Organization of Black American Culture) Writers Workshop, succeeding the late Hoyt W. Fuller as its Chair. Born in Greenville, Mississippi and raised on Chicago's Southside, she was educated at Northwestern and the University of Chicago. In 2002 Jackson was awarded the Shelley Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America. Winner of the Chicago Sun-Times/Friends of Literature Book of the Year Award and Carl Sandburg Award for Dark Legs and Silk Kisses: The Beatitudes of the Spinners in 1994, she received an American Book Award in 1985 for Solo in the Boxcar Third Floor E. She received another American Book Award in 2009 for Where I Must Go. And All These Roads Be Luminous: Poems Selected and New was nominated for a National Book Award in 1998.

Her other works are Voodoo/Love Magic,(1974), The Greenville Club in Four Black Poets, (1978) and The Man with the White Liver,(1987). Her play Shango Diaspora: An African-American Myth of Womanhood And Love was published in Woman that I Am,(1993) , Types of Drama, (1997) and Roots to Branches (2007); it was performed in Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Barbados. Comfort Stew premeired at ETA Theatre in Chicago in 1997.

Her fiction was awarded the Daniel Curley Award for Recent Illinois Short Fiction (1997). She has received five Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards for Fiction (1997, 1988, 1986, 1980, 1979), and one Illinois Arts Council Literary Award for Poetry (1986), the Illinois Arts Council Creative Writing Fellowship for Fiction (1979) and Playwriting (2000) and a National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship for Fiction (1980). She was selected as a U. S. Representative in Literature to FESTAC (2nd World Black and African Festival of Art and Culture) in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1977, and was one of the 'Women to Watch in the 80s,' by Ebony Magazine in 1982. Her other honors are many, among them: Second Annual Illinois Authors Literary Heritage Award (1996), ETA Gala Award (1994), Pushcart Prize for Poetry (1989), DuSable Musuem Writers Seminar Poetry Prize (1984). Hoyt W. Fuller Award for Literary Excellence (1984), Academy of American Poets Prize from Northwestern University (1974), and the 8th Conrad Kent Rivers Memorial Award from Black World Magazine (1973).

Her poetry and fiction have been published in many journals and anthologies including: Triquarterly, First World, Black World, Mississippi Valley Review, River Oaks Review, Black Review, Black Collegian, Black Creation, NOMMO, Obsidian, Callaloo, Chicago Review, Cumbaya, Hoodoo 7, River Styx, OBAsong, IAC/RTA Poetry on the Busses, Poetry in Motion, Storyquarterly, Okike #17, Essence, Eyeball, Lyric, 15 Chicago Poets, Prairie Voices, Second Set, Real Things, Boomer Girls, Breaking Ice, The Writer and the World, Mississippi Writers: Reflections of Childhood and Youth, Celebrations, In Search of Color, Beyond the Frontier, 360 A Revolution of Black Poets, Chicago Works, Smokestacks and Skyscrapers, A Country of Her Own, Chicago Stories, Southside Stories, Black Renaissance Noire , Penquin Academics African American Literature , and The Best of the Pushcart Prizes. Her novel, Where I Must Go, was published by Triquarterly Books/ Northwestern University Press in September, 2009. It is the first of a trilogy.


Angela Jackson's Poems

Beginner's Luck - HTML
Beginner's Luck - Audio

"Beginner's Luck"

Choosing the Blues - HTML
Choosing the Blues - Audio

"Choosing the Blues"

Notes above the Stream, A Part of the Stream - HTML
Notes above the Stream, A Part of the Stream - Audio

"Notes above the Stream, A Part of the Stream"

The Trick Is Not to Think: On the Art of Ballooning - HTML
The Trick Is Not to Think - Audio

"The Trick Is Not to Think: On the Art of Ballooning"

The Fabric of Our Lives - HTML
The Fabric of Our Lives - Audio

"The Fabric of Our Lives"