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Renowned Poet, Activist and Scholar Sonia Sanchez Gives Public Reading at Spelman


Media Contacts:
Terrilyn Simmons
Twitter: @SpelmanMedia

ATLANTA (August 22, 2013) -- Award-winning poet, activist and scholar, Sonia Sanchez, will give a free public reading at Spelman College on Sunday, August 25 at 3 p.m. in Sisters Chapel.  Sanchez's appearance is sponsored by the English department, the African Diaspora and the World program, the 2013-2014 Cosby Chair, and the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Following her reading, Sanchez will participate in a brief question and answer session and autograph copies of her books. Doors will open promptly at 2 p.m.

Sanchez is the author of over 16 books including Homecoming, We a BaddDDD People, Love Poems, I’ve Been a Woman, A Sound Investment and Other Stories, Homegirls and Handgrenades, Under a Soprano Sky, Wounded in the House of a Friend (Beacon Press, 1995), Does Your House Have Lions? (Beacon Press, 1997), Like the Singing Coming off the Drums (Beacon Press, 1998), Shake Loose My Skin (Beacon Press, 1999), and most recently, Morning Haiku (Beacon Press, 2010).

Sponsor of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and a board member of MADRE, Sanchez is a contributing editor to Black Scholar and The Journal of African Studies. She has edited an anthology, We Be Word Sorcerers: 25 Stories by Black Americans. BMA: The Sonia Sanchez Literary Review is the first African American Journal that discusses the work of Sonia Sanchez and the Black Arts Movement.

Sanchez has received many honors including an honorary degree from Spelman College in 1990, a National Endowment for the Arts, the Lucretia Mott Award for 1984, the Outstanding Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women, and the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. She is also a winner of the 1985 American Book Award for Homegirls and Handgrenades, the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Humanities for 1988, the Peace and Freedom Award from Women International League for Peace and Freedom (W.I.L.P.F.) for 1989, a PEW Fellowship in the Arts for 1992-1993, and the Langston Hughes Poetry Award for 1999.

In addition, her work, Does Your House Have Lions? was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and she is the Poetry Society of America’s 2001 Robert Frost Medalist and a Ford Freedom Scholar from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. She received the Harper Lee Award, 2004, Alabama Distinguished Writer, the National Visionary Leadership Award for 2006, the 2005 Leeway Foundation Transformational Award and the Robert Creeley award in March of 2009.

An international lecturer on Black culture and literature, women’s liberation, peace and racial justice Sanchez has lectured at over 500 universities and colleges in the United States, including Spelman and has traveled extensively, reading her poetry in Africa, Cuba, England, the Caribbean, Australia, Europe, Nicaragua, the People’s Republic of China, Norway, and Canada. She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University and held the Laura Carnell Chair in English at Temple University. Her poetry also appeared in the movie Love Jones.

Currently, Sanchez is one of 20 African-American women featured in “Freedom Sisters,” an interactive exhibition created by the Cincinnati Museum Center and Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition.

About Spelman College

Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, Ga., the college’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman; Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer; JPMorgan Chase Foundation President Kimberly Davis; former acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley; Harvard College Dean Evelyn Hammonds; author Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.

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