Sonia Sanchez wins $80,000 Jackson Poetry Prize

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Sonia Sanchez, Aja Monet

FILE – Sonia Sanchez appears on board the Norwegian Escape during the Summit at Sea cruise in Miami on Nov. 9, 2016. The 87-year-old poet has received the Jackson Poetry Prize, an $80,000 award. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — 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 ( https://www.pw.org ), the publisher of Poets & Writers magazine.

“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.”

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