This is a paperback volume of poetry with black cover and the word "RIOT" in red san-serif typeface within a white irregular circle. The name "GWENDOLYN BROOKS" in white serif typeface are centered in the middle of the cover. The words "BROADSIDE PRESS $1.00" are visible in the lower left corner. On the back cover is a large black and white photograph of the author that fills two-thirds of the surface. The photograph depicts a woman with short hair, wearing a button down collared shirt. There is a dark window behind her. The remaining third of the cover shows text that read "RIOT/ is a poem in three parts, only one part of / which has appeared in print before. It arises from/ the disturbances in Chicago after the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968. / RIOT, BY GWENDOLYN BROOKS, $1.00/ BROADSIDE PRESS/ 12651 Old Mill Place Detroit Michigan 48238." On the frontispiece is a reproduction of a painting by Jeff Donaldson. It depicts two young men, both wearing white shirts and khaki pants. The taller man holds a small African statue in his right hand and presses his left hand up against a clear sheet of glass the stands between the him and the viewer. The younger man stands behind him and also presses his hand against the glass surface. The glass is indicated by a few semi-transparent vertical lines and several iterations of the word "glass" in various sizes across the surface of the painting. Beneath the image are the words ""Allah Shango," by Jeff Donaldson / This painting was the Purchase Award Winner at the exhibit "Black/ Expressions '69" at the Southside Community Art Center, Chicago."