Fall for the Blog: Sonia Sanchez

Fourth Estate follows events of the Fifteenth Annual Fall for the Book Festival through Fall for the Blog.

Award-winning poet Sonia Sanchez explores pain and love during poetry reading at the Center for the Arts.

Meghann Patterson
(photo by John Irwin)

Portraits of jazz musicians surround the Grand Tier on the third floor of the CFA building. The lights are dimmed and the room is silent as poet Sonia Sanchez walks up to the podium.

An activist for peace and recent winner of the Busboys and Poets award, Sanchez starts the evening off by reading a poem entitled “Peace.” The way she incorporates sounds into her poems is brilliant. I’ve never heard poetry read in this style before. From one of her more recent books, “Homegirls and Handgrenades,” she reads a poem, composed of four parts, about her homosexual brother who died from AIDS and the relationship he had with their father.

As an aspiring poet, she has inspired me to try new things and not be afraid to step out of the box. Although she read from many of her books, my favorite was a poem titled “Wound in the House of a Friend,” about an 84-year-old woman she met at the park.

One of the more memorable lines from the poem stated that pretty men keep their love high up in a linen closet and I’m too short to reach it. I need this on a poster somewhere in my room; it sums up so much. 

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