Interview: Poet Laureate Angela Jackson

Angela Jackson, Illinois Poet Laureate

Angela Jackson, Illinois Poet Laureate

Northwestern University Alumni Magazine

Angela Jackson is a Chicago-based poet, playwright and novelist. She joins the likes of Carl Sandburg and Gwendolyn Brooks to become the fifth state poet laureate of Illinois — an honor the Governor’s office announced last week. 

Born in Greenville, Mississippi, and raised on Chicago’s south side, Jackson attended Northwestern University and later the University of Chicago. Her award-winning work spans decades. And in that time she’s been the recipient of the Pushcart Prize, the Illinois Center for the Book Heritage Award, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Fuller Award, just to name a few, and her novel Where I Must Go won the 2008 National Book Award. 

The 21st spoke to Jackson about how her upbringing influenced her poetry and the modern power of poetry. 


Angela Jackson, Poet Laureate of Illinois  


Prepared for web by Zainab Qureshi

Help shape our coverage on The 21st by joining our texting group and answering weekly questions. To join, text “TALK” to 217-803-0730 or sign up with your phone number below: