Resist is a Womanist Word: A Tribute to Sonia Sanchez and Call for Submissions: Sonku for Sonia

April 1, 2022 Daniel DiPrinzio

This year, poet, activist, and scholar Sonia Sanchez will receive an honorary doctoral degree and address the Class of 2022 at Commencement ceremonies for Arcadia University. Renowned for the messages of freedom and activism in her work, Sanchez once declared that "[r]esist is an ancient word. A holy word. A churchgoing word. A womanist word. A political word. A freedom worker's word." Resistance has therefore been a concept that has deeply informed her work and the work of those who follow in her footsteps. 

To honor this enduring legacy, the Center for Antiracist Scholarship, Advocacy, and Action (CASAA) is partnering with the Office of Access, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, the Pan African Studies Program, and the National Council of Negro Women, DelVal Section, to offer "Resist is a Womanist Word: A Tribute to Sonia Sanchez" at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 29 via Zoom. As part of this event, nine incredibly inspiring poets who also serve as community activists in Philadelphia will reflect on how the concept of resistance is demonstrated and activated in their lives. Each will share their poetry and engage in conversation about the influence Sanchez's work has had on their own. Pre-registration is required, though this is a free event.

In addition, to honor the legacy of Sonia Sanchez, we are currently compiling a chapbook to be titled Sonku for Sonia--a collection of sonku, a poetic form Sanchez developed to inspire her students to create their own forms. The sonku is typically a four-line poem written in 4-3-4-3 or 6-3-6-3, though as Sanchez’s work sometimes reveals, syllabic fluidity can result in some of the most thought-provoking moments in poetic forms. The call for submission is open to the larger community as well as all Arcadia faculty, staff, and students at the undergraduate and graduate level. Submissions are due by 6 p.m. on Friday, April 8. For Arcadia students, please send your submissions to Sarah L. Marsh—Program Coordinator for the Office of Access, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion—at marshs@arcadia.edu. For all other contributors, send submissions directly to Dr. Christopher Allen Varlack–Associate Director of CASAA–at varlackc@arcadia.edu. Select pieces will be shared live during the April 29 event in addition to distribution of the chapbook in digital and print form.

Please join us as we work to reflect on those important themes and to honor the legacy of Sonia Sanchez as guiding footsteps in the sand.

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