Dr. Sonia Sanchez is a Black female writer, poet, activist, and teacher. She has written over a dozen books of poetry, short stories, critical essays, plays, and children’s books.
Born in Birmingham Alabama in 1934, raised by her grandmother until she died when she was 6, Sanchez migrated to Harlem. Following the death of Malcolm X, Sanchez was one of the trailblazing voices of The Black Arts Movement.
After moving to Philadelphia, Sanchez became the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University, where she began working in 1977. There, she held the Laura Carnell chair until her retirement in 1999.
The name “SONKU” was chosen in praise of Sonia Sanchez, to honor her significant impact on the Temple University community as well as the Black writers community as a whole. The name “SONKU” specifically speaks to Sanchez’s personal adaptation of the haiku form, to represent to the intention of helping writers develop their own creative identities and style.