The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Poet to tell NE Campus about her literary works

By Ashley Bradley/ne news editor

SoniaFlyer2-1Poet, author and activist Sonia Sanchez will visit NE Campus to discuss her life’s work along with her new book Morning Haiku. 

Student activities and the English department will sponsor Living Literature 7:30-8:30 p.m. March 24 and 9:15-10:45 a.m. March 25 in NSTU Center Corner. Both lectures are open to the public, but the second event is targeted mainly toward students in English classes.

Sanchez, 75, lives in Philadelphia and has been a poet for decades. Her first poetry book was published in 1969. Altogether, she has published 21 books, including three children’s books, and written six plays.

Published this year, Morning Haiku discusses the deaths of respected African-American figures in the worlds of music, art and activism. Sanchez was also part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services exhibit Freedom’s Sisters alongside historical figures Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks.

English instructor Chalet Jean-Baptiste met Sanchez last summer at the African-American Museum in Dallas. She heard Sanchez speak and recite poetry and then asked her to come visit NE Campus.

To Jean-Baptiste’s surprise, Sanchez agreed.

“She took TCC on her own. We didn’t have to go through her publicist,” Jean-Baptiste said. “As soon as I called her, she was on board. She was excited and willing to work with TCC’s budget.”

Jean-Baptiste said she is excited for students to hear Sanchez speak because of her realness. Being an African-American civil rights activist has given her a certain insight, and she isn’t the typical 75-year-old, she said.

“Even at her age, she has a freshness to her,” she said. “She goes deeper than writing. She offers insight of history and community. She will say whatever she wants to say in front of any audience. It’s important for students to hear all types of poetry, even the explicit kind.”

Sanchez’s book Shake Loose My Skin includes a poem called “Poem at Thirty,” which discusses the way she felt when she was a child.

“father do not send me out among strangers. you you black man stretching scraping the mold from your body. here is my hand. i am not afraid of the night,” Sanchez wrote in her poem.

Though Sanchez is known for her rawness, event organizer and English instructor Mina Thompson said she thinks students could pull a lot from the experience of seeing Sanchez speak.

“To see a poet who we’ve been studying [in English composition classes] for years is exciting,” she said. “She’s a dynamic speaker, and she’s part of the whole African-American civil rights movement.”

English associate professor Rebecca Balcarcel said she is also excited about Sanchez’s presentation on campus.

“She is courageous in tackling different subjects in her writing,” she said. “She tells the truth of what does happen in the world. She looks at the cruelty in her world and makes art out of it. That makes us more human.”

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