Sanchez has been in Birmingham this week as part of the 93rd annual convention of the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH). I was thrilled to hear her last night on the 98.7KISS-FM program "TalkBack," where she quoted my favorite haiku of hers:
let me wear the day
well so when it reaches you
you will enjoy it
It's one of four haiku interspersed among prose poems and free verse and blues riffs and resplendent rhymed lines that I'm reluctant to classify in homegirls & handgrenades, for which Sanchez won the American Book Award in 1985. In addition to a powerful legacy of work as an educator and activist, Sanchez has published 15 books of poetry, seven plays and four books for children. She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University, where she taught for more than 25 years until her retirement in 1999.
Sanchez will appear at UAB tonight as part of the UAB English Dept. lecture series and will give a talk titled "Social Responsibility and the Writer." The program will take place at the UAB Spencer Honors House, 1190 10th Ave. South, next to the Alys Stephens Center. For more information, call 934-4250.