Sonia Sanchez Q&A with the Washington Post blog “The Root DC Live”

Before speaking to the Alexandria Branch of the NAACP in October, Sonia Sanchez answered five questions from “The Root DC Live.” In this brief interview, Sanchez speaks about the influence of technology on poetry, her arrest with the Granny Peace Brigade, and her speech for the NAACP “Pushups for Peace.” Read the full interview at

In Memory of Elizabeth Catlett

Elizabeth Catlett, African American sculptor and print maker, passed away April 2, at the age of 96 in her home in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. Sonia Sanchez posted her haiku, “6 haiku (for Elizabeth Catlett in Cuernavaca)” in memory of her friend.

“In loving memory of a great woman. You will be missed. It was an honor to walk on this earth with you.” —Sonia Sanchez

6 haiku
(for Elizabeth Catlett
in Cuernavaca)

La Señora
making us remember
flesh and wind

O how you
help us catch
each other’s breath

a woman’s
arms climbing with
colored dreams

slides into the pool
hands kissing the water

i pick
up your breath and
remember me

your hands
humming hurricanes
of beauty.

Sanchez, Sonia, from her new book Morning Haiku. Boston: Beacon Press, 2010. Please do not distribute this work without permission. You may submit requests to reprint the work of Sonia Sanchez from titles published by Beacon Press through its website.

Events for Spring 2012

Take in an event featuring Sonia Sanchez this Spring! Upcoming events are listed and stay tuned for more opportunities to see Philadelphia’s first Poet Laureate.

Sonia Sanchez Selected as Philadelphia’s First Poet Laureate

On December 29, 2011, Philadelphia selected Sonia Sanchez as the city’s first Poet Laureate. A proud resident of Philadelphia since 1976, Mayor Michael Nutter called her the “conscience of the city.” As Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate, she is responsible for selecting and mentoring a Youth Poet Laureate, participating in spoken word and poetry events at City Hall and the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Sanchez is now collecting haikus about peace from fellow writers and the public for a mural in South Philadelphia, which will be unveiled in June 2012. Her most recent book of poetry, Morning Haiku, is available from Beacon Press. Read some selections from the book on For a complete list of works by Sonia Sanchez, visit her website. Read more about her selection as Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate here, or visit Poetry Foundation.

News Update

New pictures of Sonia are up. Visit the gallery to check them out! And stay tuned for new events in 2012. We’ll be posting them on the website very soon.

Poetry Month Giveaway

Win a Sonia Sanchez Poster from Beacon Press

Morning Haiku cover $14.00 Paperback
$13.00 Ebook
$22.00 Hardcover

Available from: Independent Bookstore
Beacon Press
Barnes and Noble

In honor of Poetry Month, Beacon Press will give away five posters featuring a poem from Sonia Sanchez’s Morning Haiku, now available in paperback from Beacon Press. Enter once a day before noon EST Friday, April 29. The poster features the poem:

4 haiku
(for Nubia)

Telephone wires sang
her voice over
soft sister laughter

you held us
with summer stained
smiles of hope

i hold your
breath today…you sail home
across the ocean

i see you Nubia
walking your Mississippi walk
God in your hands.

How To Win a Sonia Sanchez Poster

The contest is now closed. Winners have been announced on,, and

Morning Haiku now out in Paperback!

Now in paperback, Morning Haiku, poems of commemoration and loss for readers of all ages. In Sonia Sanchez’s verses, we hear the sounds of Max Roach “exploding in the universe,” the “blue hallelujahs” of the Philadelphia Murals, and the voice of Odetta “thundering out of the earth.” Sanchez sings the praises of contemporaries whose poetic alchemy turns “words into gems”: Maya Angelou, Richard Long, and Toni Morrison. And she pays homage to peace workers and civil rights activists from Rosa Parks and Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm to Brother Damu, founder of the National Black Environmental Justice Network. Often arranged in strings of twelve or more, the haiku flow one into the other in a steady song of commemoration. Sometimes deceptively simple, her lyrics hold a very powerful load of emotion and meaning.

Morning Haiku
is available wherever books and ebooks are sold.


“Sonia Sanchez’s poetry is a must for all readers. Period.”

Rain Taxi Review of Books

“Sanchez’s haiku is as simple and clear as breathing, but with everything that brings energy and vivacity to being alive.” 

Video: Sonia Sanchez reads Middle Passage

Check out a video of Sonia Sanchez reading Middle Passage with accompaniment by Gerry De Mol on guitar.  This is from a 2008 performance in Brussels. Enjoy!