Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Poetry

Born: 1940 in Clinton, Mississippi



Illinois Connection

Plumpp attended Benedictine College and Roosevelt University in Chicago. He also went on to teach at the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Sterling Plumpp is an African-American poet, editor, scholar and teacher. He was educated in Chicago at Benedictine College and Roosevelt University. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, where he served on the faculty in the African American Studies and English departments. Most recently, he served as a visiting professor in the Master of Fine Arts Program at Chicago State University.

Plumpp is often called a "blues poet" because of the influence of blues music on the themes and rhythms of his poetry. He has received numerous awards for his work, among them the Richard Wright Litereary Excellence Award, the Carl Sandburg Litereary Award and the Fuller Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Plumpp has contributed to several publications including: ''To Gwen with Love'' with Patricia L. Brown, Don L. Lee, and Francis Ward in 1971 and ''The Otherwise Room'' with Joyce Jones, Mary McTaggart, and Maria Mootry in 1981. He also edited ''Somehow We Survive: An Anthology of South African Writing'' in 1981.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


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

-- *Carl Sandburg Literary Award for Poetry, Friends of the Chicago Public Library

-- *Richard Wright Literary Excellence Award

-- *3 - Illinois Arts Council Awards

-- *American Book Award