Collected Poems (Hardcover)
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Winner Gish Prize for Lifetime Achievement
A representative collection of the life work of the much-honored poet and a founder of the Black Arts movement, spanning the 4 decades of her literary career.
Gathering highlights from all of Sonia Sanchez’s poetry, this compilation is sure to inspire love and community engagement among her legions of fans. Beginning with her earliest work, including poems from her first volume, Homecoming (1969), through to 2019, the poet has collected her favorite work in all forms of verse, from Haiku to excerpts from book-length narratives. Her lifelong dedication to the causes of Black liberation, social equality, and women’s rights is evident throughout, as is her special attention to youth in poems addressed to children and young adults.
As Maya Angelou so aptly put it: “Sonia Sanchez is a lion in literature’s forest. When she writes she roars, and when she sleeps other creatures walk gingerly.”
About the Author
Sonia Sanchez-award-winning poet, activist, scholar, and formerly the Laura Carnell professor of English and women's studies at Temple University-is the author of sixteen books, including Like the Singing Coming off the Drums, Does Your House Have Lions?, Wounded in the House of a Friend, and Shake Loose My Skin.
“Her masterful use of spacing, spelling and sound to create impact and celebrate the unique vernacular known as Black English is what gives her work that edge of poetic genius, but it’s the intensely human quality, the intimacy and realness of the words, that drives them deep into the heart of many who receive them.”
“In impressive volume showcasing the broad scope of her literary work in general and word smithing talents in particular.”
—Midwest Book Review
“This long-overdue retrospective will be treasured by all who spend time with it. If you are looking for light in the darkness, a reminder of what kindred spirits are capable of when they work together for change, this book will galvanize and comfort you.”
“Sonia Sanchez is a lion in literature’s forest. When she writes she roars, and when she sleeps other creatures walk gingerly.”
“Her songs of destruction and loss scrape the heart; her praise songs thunder and revitalize. We need these songs for our journey together into the next century.”
—Joy Harjo, US poet laureate
“The poetry of Sonia Sanchez is full of power and yet always clean and uncluttered. It makes you wish you had thought those thoughts, felt those emotions, and, above all, expressed them so effortlessly and so well.”
—Chinua Achebe, Nobel Prize laureate
“Sonia Sanchez remains one of the most read, respected, and visible figures of the Black Arts Movement.”
“You have spoken for us . . . Written for us . . . Sung to us . . . How much in your debt we are.”
“Sonia Sanchez’s illustrious career spans seven decades. Her commanding oeuvre continues to elevate language’s ability to give voice to entire communities (their daily pleasures and pains) inside our shared and troubled history.”
“The magnificent Sonia Sanchez – lifelong poet, crafter of the complex and the clear, the hard and the beautiful – acknowledges who we are on this earth through American eras hopeful, frightening, and imponderable... She is an eloquent international figure, helping us understand the world. Over our many decades, I have looked up to Sonia Sanchez as bard and also as a forger of the new intellectual field of Black studies that has remade our consciousness.”