Marywood University will present Marilyn Chin and Sonia Sanchez in a poetry reading on Friday, April 9 at 8p.m. in the Liguori Center, Regina Hall. The event is sponsored by the Cooperative Grant Program with the University of Scranton. The poetry readings are free and open the public.
Marilyn Chin was born in Hong Kong and raised in Portland, Oregon. Her books of poetry have become Asian American classics and are taught in classrooms internationally. They include: Rhapsody in Plain Yellow (W.W. Norton & Co., 2002); The Phoenix Gone, The Terrace Empty (1994); and Dwarf Bamboo (1987). She is also the author of a novel, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen (2009).
Chin has won numerous awards for her poetry, including ones from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has received a Stegner Fellowship, the PEN/Josephine Miles Award, four Pushcart Prizes, the Paterson Prize, a Fulbright Fellowship to Taiwan, as well as residencies at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Lannan Residency, and the Djerassi Foundation.
Her work has been featured in a variety of anthologies, including The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, The Norton Introduction to Poetry, The Oxford Anthology of Modern American Poetry, Unsettling America, The Open Boat, and The Best American Poetry of l996. She was featured in Bill Moyers' PBS series The Language of Life.
She has read and taught workshops all over the world. Recently, she taught at the Iowa Writer's Workshop and was guest poet at universities in Singapore, Hong Kong, Manchester, Sydney and Berlin and elsewhere. In addition to writing poetry, she has translated poems by the modern Chinese poet Ai Qing and co-translated poems by the Japanese poet Gozo Yoshimasu. Presently, she is writing a book of poetic tales. She co-directs the MFA program at San Diego State University.
Sonia Sanchez was born Wilsonia Benita Driver in Birmingham, Alabama. She is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, including Shake Loose My Skin: New and Selected Poems (1999); Like the Singing Coming Off the Drums: Love Poems (1998); Does your house have lions? (1995), which was nominated for both the NAACP Image and National Book Critics Circle Award; Wounded in the House of a Friend (1995); Under a Soprano Sky (1987); Homegirls & Handgrenades (1984), which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; I've Been a Woman: New and Selected Poems (1978); A Blues Book for Blue Black Magical Women (1973); Love Poems (1973); Liberation Poem (1970); We a BaddDDD People (1970); and Homecoming (1969).
Her published plays are Black Cats Back and Uneasy Landings (1995), I'm Black When I'm Singing, I'm Blue When I Ain't (1982), Malcolm Man/Don't Live Here No Mo' (1979), Uh Huh: But How Do It Free Us? (1974), Dirty Hearts '72 (1973), The Bronx Is Next (1970),and Sister Son/ji (1969).
Sanchez's books for children include A Sound Investment and Other Stories (1979), The Adventures of Fat Head, Small Head, and Square Head (1973), and It's a New Day: Poems for Young Brothas and Sistuhs (1971). She has also edited two anthologies: We Be Word Sorcerers: Twenty-five Stories by Black Americans (1973) and Three Hundred Sixty Degrees of Blackness Comin''at You (1971).
Among the many honors she has received are the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, the Lucretia Mott Award, the Outstanding Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Peace and Freedom Award from Women International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for Excellence in the Humanities, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.
Sanchez has lectured at more than five hundred universities and colleges in the United States and had traveled extensively, reading her poetry in Africa, Cuba, England, the Caribbean, Australia, Nicaragua, the People's Republic of China, Norway, and Canada. She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University, where she began teaching in 1977, and held the Laura Carnell Chair in English there until her retirement in 1999. She lives in Philadephia.
She earned a B.A. in political science from Hunter College in 1955. She also did postgraduate work at New York University and studied poetry with Louise Bogan. Sanchez formed a writers' workshop in Greenwich Village, attended by such poets as Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee), and Larry Neal. Along with Madhubuti, Nikki Giovanni, and Etheridge Knight, she formed the "Broadside Quartet" of young poets, introduced and promoted by Dudley Randall.
Chin and Sanchez will also be reading at the Moscovitz Theater , DeNaples Center at the University of Scranton on Saturday, April 10, from 2:00-3:20 during a plenary session of the 2010 Conference of Multi-Ethnic Literature in the United States (MELUS).
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