Pinkie Gordon Lane

Pinkie Gordon Lane photo

Pinkie Gordon Lane (born January 13, 1923 - December 3, 2008) was a poet, editor, and teacher.

Pinkie Gordon Lane was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to William Alexander Gordon and Inez Addie West Gordon. She was the youngest of four children, but the only one to live beyond infancy.

She attended the Philadelphia School for Girls, graduating in 1940. After Lane’s graduation, her father died and she was pressed to take a job in a sewing factory.

After five years of intense work and the death of her mother she applied for and received a four-year scholarship to Spelman College where in 1949 she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and art and began teaching in the public schools of Georgia and Florida.

In 1955 she returned to Atlanta and began working on a master’s degree in English from Atlanta University. Upon receiving her degree in 1956, she and her husband left Georgia and moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she took a teaching position at Leland College in Baker, LA. from 1957-1959. In 1959, she joined the English Department at Southern University, where she would stay for the remainder of her career, rising to the post of Department Chair.

In 1967, she became the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University.

Lane’s literary career began in 1956 when she found some success as a short story writer. She decided upon poetry as her chosen medium and her first published poem appeared in Phylon: The Atlanta University Review of Race and Culture in 1961.

Lane was appointed the Louisiana State Poet Laureate in 1989, making her the first African American to hold the post.

Pinkie Gordon Lane died on December 3, 2008, she was 85 years-old.

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3 Books by Pinkie Gordon Lane