April is National Poetry Month and Bloomfield College’s Division of Humanities is getting a head start in celebrating the genre and literature as a whole.
On March 22 – 23, 2018, the College will host its second annual “Writing from the Margins.” This year, the College is honored to have Sonia Sanchez as keynote speaker for the event. She will address guests at the beginning of the event on Thursday, March 22, at 6:00 p.m. The renowned poet will be hosting a Q&A the following day.
Sonia Sanchez is the author of over 16 books including Homecoming, We a BaddDDD People, Love Poems, I’ve Been a Woman, A Sound Investment and Other Stories, Homegirls and Handgrenades, Under a Soprano Sky, Wounded in the House of a Friend (Beacon Press, 1995), Does Your House Have Lions? (Beacon Press, 1997), Like the Singing Coming off the Drums (Beacon Press, 1998), Shake Loose My Skin (Beacon Press, 1999), and most recently, Morning Haiku (Beacon Press, 2010).
A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts, the Lucretia Mott Award for 1984, the Outstanding Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women, and the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, she is a winner of the 1985 American Book Award for Homegirls and Handgrenades, the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Humanities for 1988, the Peace and Freedom Award from Women International League for Peace and Freedom (W.I.L.P.F.) for 1989, a PEW Fellowship in the Arts for 1992-1993, and the recipient of Langston Hughes Poetry Award for 1999.
Does Your House Have Lions? was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is the Poetry Society of America’s 2001 Robert Frost Medalist and a Ford Freedom Scholar from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
Sanchez has lectured at over 500 universities and colleges in the United States and has traveled extensively, reading her poetry in Africa, Cuba, England, the Caribbean, Australia, Europe, Nicaragua, the People’s Republic of China, Norway, and Canada. She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University and she held the Laura Carnell Chair in English at Temple University. She is the recipient of the Harper Lee Award, 2004, Alabama Distinguished Writer, and the National Visionary Leadership Award for 2006.
"Writing from the Margins 2018 has been developed due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received on our inaugural Writing from the Margins conference in 2016. We are delighted to once again bring an exciting lineup of contemporary writers to campus, all of whom speak to the diversity which we cherish at Bloomfield College,” said Dr. Ada McKenzie Thomas, Assistant Professor of World Literature. “Writing from the Margins 2018 promises to be a memorable event for the College community and beyond!"
The two-day event is a free, public program. The second day consists of an exciting line-up of writing workshops, readings, and panel discussions with distinguished writers and scholars. The agenda includes activities for both high school and college-aged students.Day two will host literary workshops and discussions led by Institute scholars and writers, public readings, roundtable sessions, and a film screening—all pertaining to the theme of “Writing from the Margins.” Attendees will have the opportunity to select from a variety of workshop offerings, which engage various aspects of the issue of marginality as it pertains to race, culture, class, gender, etc.
These portions of the event kick off on Friday, March 23, at 9:00 a.m. The day will conclude with readings and book signings at approximately 6:00 p.m. Featured writers include Jane Wong, Ysabel Gonzalez, Roberto Garcia, Kem Joy Ukwu, and Keisha-Gaye Anderson.
Writing from the Margins promises to connect writers and readers in a dynamic exploration of the power and potential of literature.