Sonia Sanchez wins $80,000 Jackson poetry prize

The iconic poet is awarded for her body of work over the last seven decades

Loading the player...

Sonia Sanchez has received the Jackson Poetry Prize, an $80,000 award that continues a recent wave of lifetime achievement honors for the 87-year-old poet, educator, and activist.

Her award was announced Tuesday by Poets & Writers the publisher of Poets & Writers magazine.

Sonia Sanchez appears on board the Norwegian Escape during the Summit at Sea cruise in Miami on Nov. 9, 2016. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)

“Over her 7-decade career, Sonia Sanchez has distinguished herself as a major figure in American letters,” the judges’ citation reads in part. “Her vast and commanding oeuvre of published poetry invokes the power and revolutionary properties of language itself — intoning the struggles and joys of entire communities while reinvigorating traditional forms.”

Since 2018, Sanchez has also received the Wallace Stevens Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award, the Dorothy & Lillian Gish Prize, and the Edward MacDowell Medal.

Sanchez was a founding member of the Black Arts Movement in the late 1960s and is widely regarded as a pioneering teacher of Black studies. Her poetry collections include “Homecoming,” “Love Poems” and “Shake Loose My Skin.”

TheGrio is now on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today! 

Loading the player...