Detroit: Broadside Press, 1969. Staple-bound octavo pamphlet, measuring 8.5 x 5.5 inches, 22 pages. Original wrappers printed in black and red, full-color pictorial frontispiece and title page. Tiny bump to upper right corner.
First printing of Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks’s three-part poem inspired by the unrest in Chicago after the assassination of Martin Luther King: “Crazy flowers / cry up across the sky, spreading / and hissing This is / it.” Published in Detroit by Dudley Randall's Broadside Press, RIOT marks Brooks’s committed turn from Harper & Row, the mainstream publishing house that launched her career in the 1940s, to independent black-owned presses. First state, with “these” instead of “there” on page 22. A crisp, near-fine copy.