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Sonia Sanchez letter to Jim


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

American poet and educator Sonia Sanchez was born Wilsonia Benita Driver on September 9, 1934, in Birmingham, Alabama. She married and later divorced Albert Sanchez, whose surname she has continued to use.

She earned a B.A. in political science from Hunter College in 1955 and did postgraduate work at New York University, where she studied poetry with Louise Bogan.

Sonia Sanchez began teaching in the San Francisco area in 1965. There she pioneered the development of Black studies courses at what is now San Francisco State University, where she was an instructor from 1968 to 1969. Sanchez has taught at numerous universities and colleges in the United States and lectured throughout the world on such topics as Black culture and literature, women's liberation, as well as peace and racial justice.

She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University, where she began teaching in 1977. By her retirement in 1999, she held Temple University's Laura Carnell Chair in English.

In addition to more than a dozen books of poetry, Sanchez has published numerous plays and children's book. Some of her collections of poetry are

Does your house have lions? (1995), which was nominated for both the NAACP Image and National Book Critics Circle Award; Homegirls & Handgrenades (1984), which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; I've Been a Woman: New and Selected Poems (1978); We A BaddDDD People (1970); and Homecoming (1969).

Sonia Sanchez's contributions to poetry, civil rights and issues of justice have been honored with numerous awards, including the Lucretia Mott Award in 1984, the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for Excellence in the Humanities for 1988, the Peace and Freedom Award from Women International League for Peace and Freedom in 1989, a Langston Hughes Poetry Award in 1999, the Poetry Society of America's 2001 Robert Frost Medalist, and in 2009 the Robert Creeley Award.

"Sonia Sanchez." from the Academy of American Poets. (accessed November 2011) Sonia Sanchez official website. soniasanchez[dot]net/bio/ (accessed November 2011)

American poet Sonia Sanchez wrote this letter to Jim to accompany an inscribed copy of her new book,

We A BaddDDD People.

Though undated, the letter was probably written in the fall of 1970, the year

We A BaddDDD People was published. She also asked for the address of another person to whom she wished to send the "new book." In her letter Sanchez lamented a twice-a-week commute to a teaching position at Rutgers, which she held in the academic year 1970-1971.

In addition to sending the book, Sanchez inquired about Jim's deadline for her article on "blk/theatre," and remarked that she was tired and "had a bad yr," because of the lengthy commute to Rutgers.

Box 62, F0912: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.

Originally laid in a copy of Sonia Sanchez's

We A BaddDDD People (Spec PT 289 .J85 1970).

Processed and encoded by Anita Wellner, November 2011. Further encoded by George Apodaca, October 2015.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2011 November 23
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

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Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Sonia Sanchez autograph letter signed to Jim, [1970].
Box 62 Folder F0912

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