Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Fiction Non-Fiction Poetry

Born: 1951 in Greenville, Mississippi


Illinois Connection

Jackson's family moved to Chicago when she was one year old. She graduated from Loretto Academy, a Catholic high school, in Chicago. Jackson stayed in Chicago during college and attended Northwestern University, graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1977. She also earned a master’s degree in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Chicago. Angela has taught African-American literature at Kennedy-King College since 1997 and still resides in Chicago today.

Biographical and Professional Information

In November 2020, Angela Jackson was selected as the 5th Illinois Poet Laureate.

During the 1970's in Chicago, Angela Jackson became one of the most desired readers and performers because she was able to master the art of pause and rhythm during a performance. Jackson is also very well know for her involvement in Chicago's Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC). The influence of this organization has had a great effect on Jackson's writing. Its main goal was to advance "the conscious development and articulation of Black Aesthetic." Members are encouraged to express in words the "Black Experience" and also pay attention to and focus on the works of other African American authors.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- """Dark Legs and Silk Kisses"""

-- *One of the four best Chicago books, Chicago Sun-Times, 1993


-- """And, All These Roads be Luminous: Poem Selected and New"""

-- *Nominated, National Book Award


-- """Solo in the Box Car Third Floor E"""

-- **American Book Award, 1985


-- """Where I Must Go"""

-- *American Book Award, 2008


-- """It Seems Like a Mighty Long Time"""

-- *Longlisted for the Pulitzer Prize

-- *Longlisted finalist for the PEN Open Book


-- """Other Significant Awards"""

-- *Conrad Kent Rivers Memorial Award, 1973

-- *Academy of American Poets Award, Northwestern University, 1974

-- *Hoyt W. Fuller Award for Literary Excellence, 1984

-- *Poetry Prize, DuSable Museum Writers Seminar, 1984

-- *Pushcart Prize for Poetry, 1984

-- *ETA Gala Award, 1989

-- *Illinois Literary Heritage Award, Illinois Center for the Book, 1996

-- *Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards - five for fiction and one for poetry

-- *Daniel Curley Award, TriQuarterly

-- *The Carl Sandburg Award, Illinois Arts Council

-- *Book of the Year Award, Chicago Sun-Times Friends of Literature

-- *Shelley Memorial Award of the Poetry, Society of America, 2002

-- *Fuller Award for Lifetime Achievement, Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 2018

-- *Illinois Poet Laureate, 2020