University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations

February 3, 2005
Joy Washington, (251) 460-6638

National and International Poet to Speak at USA

Sonya Sanchez, poet, playwright, essayist, educator and professor will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23 at the Laidlaw Performing Arts Recital Hall on the USA main campus. This event, which is part of USA's Black History activities, is free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by the African-American Studies program.

The Oxford Companion describes Sanchez's writings as a source and expression of her growth and commitment to harnessing political and spiritual energies to make a better world.

Sanchez has authored more than 16 books, with her early work focused on the political upheavals of the 1960s. She is the author of "Homecoming," "We a BaddDDD People," "Love Poems," and "I've Been a Woman: New and Selected Poems," and many more.

Among the many honors she has received, Sanchez is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts, the Lucretia Mott Award, the Outstanding Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, winner of the American Book Award for her book "Homegirls and Handgrenades," the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Humanities, the Peace and Freedom Award from the Women International League for Peace and Freedom, and the recipient of the Langston Hughes Poetry Award.

A native of Birmingham, AL., Sanchez earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Hunter College in New York, and she did her postgraduate work at New York University under poet Louise Bogan.

Sanchez has shared her work by lecturing to more than 500 universities and colleges in the United States and abroad.

For more information contact Dr. Jean McIver, professor of English and the director of the African-American Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences at 460-6146.

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