Sonia Sanchez on the State of Black Books

The Root talked to the acclaimed poet during the Harlem Book Fair about the future of African-American literature, what she’s reading now, and more.

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Sonia Sanchez is a poet of the highest order. She is consistent in her nonconformist call to arms and to love. The author of more than 14 books — including Wounded in the House of a Friend, Homegirls and Handgrenades, Shake Loose My Skin and the newly released collection of poetry Morning Haiku, her first in more than a decade — drenches her words in honey goodness so they sound like the sweetest thang you’ve ever heard:

“This is not a small voice you hear / this is a large voice coming out of the cities / This is a love colored with iron and lace / This is a love initialed Black Genius / This is not a small voice you hear.” (“This Is Not a Small Voice,” 1995)

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