Senior Honored with Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Award

This summer, senior Hannah Bilgin received some amazing news: A poem she submitted to the 2023 Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards competition has been recognized by Illinois Humanities! Her poem, “What We Use as Medicine,” was chosen as an Honorable Mention from more than 800 poems submitted; there were only 25 winners and 16 honorable mentions from across the state!

Produced in partnership with Brooks Permissions and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, Illinois Humanities holds the Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards to honor the legacy of renowned poet and author Gwendolyn Brooks, the first Black Pulitzer Prize winner. According to their website, “Each and every one of the young poets who take part in this competition are a part of that legacy. Brooks summed up the contest best in a note in 1977: ‘All the children who entered the contest are winners… They worked hard. They created. And that is what is important.’”

Parker couldn’t agree more with Brooks, and we are extremely proud of Bilgin for having the courage and creative spirit to produce and submit her works to the competition. English Department Co-Chair Matt Laufer offered, “I was so excited and proud to learn that Hannah’s poem ‘What We Use as Medicine’ was recognized by this esteemed contest, which honors Chicago's great poet Gwendolyn Brooks. I knew Hanna’s poem was worthy, but how wonderful that she had the courage to send it out into the world... and that it will be published for many more to see!”

Join us in congratulating Bilgin on her tremendous accomplishment!
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.