Illinois First Lady MK Pritzker announced Angela Jackson as the next poet laureate for the state.
Jackson, a Chicago native, is the fifth Illinoisan to hold the title, an honorary position selected by a committee of experts and subsequently appointed by the governor.
Jackson is an accomplished and award-winning poet, novelist and playwright who has published three chapbooks and four volumes of poetry. As Illinois' next poet laureate, Jackson will work to promote poetry at the state and national level.
She will join only four other esteemed poets who have previously held this title. The first Illinois poet laureate, Howard B. Austin, was named in 1936. The three other poets who have held the title are Carl Sandburg (1962-67), Gwendolyn Brooks (1968-2000) and Kevin Stein (2003-17). In June, Gov. JB Pritzker posthumously named John Prine an honorary poet laureate.
Jackson, 69, was born in Greenville, Mississippi, and raised on Chicago's South Side; she was educated at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. She was a 20-year member of the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC) Writers Workshop, succeeding the late Hoyt W. Fuller as its chair.