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Definition: Sanchez, Sonia from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US poet and writer. A black nationalist and political activist, she is known for her persuasive and metaphorical poetry, as in ‘homegirls and handgrenades’ (1984). She has also written plays, short stories, and children's books, and edited African-American anthologies.


Summary Article: Sonia Sanchez (1943–) from African American Almanac
Poet, Playwright

Sonia Sanchez was born September 9, 1943, in Birmingham, Alabama. She studied at New York University and Hunter College in New York City. She was married to Etheridge Knight, a black writer of poetry and fiction. She taught at San Francisco State College and in the black studies department of Temple University in Philadelphia until her retirement in 1999. She has written both plays, including Malcolm Man/Don't Live Here No Mo’ (1979) and Black Cats Back and Uneasy Landings (1995), and books of poetry including Homecoming (1969); We a BaddDDD People (1970); It Is a New Day (1971); A Blues Book for Blue Black Magical Women (1973); I've Been a Woman (1978); Under a Soprano Sky (1987); and Does Your House Have Lions? (1995). Sanchez has edited two anthologies and a collection of short stories, including Homegirls and Handgrenades (1984) and Shake Loose My Skin (2000). Sanchez won an American Book Award for Homegirls and Handgrenades.

Sanchez has received the Outstanding Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women, the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Pew Eellowship in the Arts. She has lectured extensively not only in the United States, but in Africa, Cuba, England, the Caribbean, Australia, Nicaragua, the People's Republic of China, Norway, and Canada.

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