MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 7pm – POETRY
Moonstone and Art Sanctuary Present:
Reading from her new book Morning Haiku ($19.95 Beacon Press)
This new volume by the much-loved poet Sonia Sanchez, her first in over a decade, is music to the ears: a collection of haiku that celebrates the gifts of life and mourns the deaths of revered African American figures in the worlds of music, literature, art, and activism. In her 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. There are intimate verses here for family and friends, verses of profound loss and silence, of courage and resilience. Sanchez is innovative, composing haiku in new forms, including a section of moving two-line poems that reflect on the long wake of 9/11. In a brief and personal opening essay, the poet explains her deep appreciation for haiku as an art form. With its touching portraits and by turns uplifting and heartbreaking lyrics, Morning Haiku contains some of Sanchez’s freshest, most poignant work.
Sonia Sanchez—poet, activist, scholar—was the Laura Carnell professor of English and women’s studies at Temple University. She is the recipient of both the Robert Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime service to American poetry and the Langston Hughes Poetry Award. One of the most important writers of the Black Arts movement, Sanchez is the author of sixteen books, including Like the Singing Coming off the Drums, Does Your House Have Lions?, Wounded in the House of a Friend, and Shake Loose My Skin.
“Sonia Sanchez is a lion in literature’s forest. When she writes she roars, and when she sleeps other creatures walk gingerly.” —Maya Angelou
“Only a poet with an innocent heart can exorcise so much pain with so much beauty.”—Isabel Allende
“The poetry of Sonia Sanchez is full of power and yet always clean and uncluttered. It makes you wish you had thought those thoughts, felt those emotions, and, above all, expressed them so effortlessly and so well.” —Chinua Achebe
“Her songs of destruction and loss scrape the heart; her praise songs thunder and revitalize. We need these songs for our journey together into the next century.” —Joy Harjo
MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 8pm – Moonstone Members Only
A Reception with Sonia Sanchez at Time Restaurant, 1316 Sansom Street, cash bar
Spend an informal hour with Sonia Sanchez after her reading, have a drink, your book autographed, and conversation with others who love poetry and Sonia. If you are not a member you can join at our website: www.moonstoneartscenter.org or on site.
Autographed books can be ordered for home delivery by calling 215-735-9600
Help spread the word! Download this PDF flyer and share it with anyone and everyone who might be interested in attending.