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Cal State L.A. to host renowned writer Sonia Sanchez, a major figure of the Black Arts Movement

Renowned writer, poet, playwright and activist Sonia Sanchez will present this year’s Jean Burden Poetry Reading at Cal State L.A. May 14. Admission to the event is free to the public.

Sanchez, who is one of the legendary figures of the Black Arts Movement, will read from her works, which contributed to the awakening of black consciousness. The Black Arts Movement, a literary movement which advanced social engagement, emerged in the wake of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. There will be a book sale and signing after the reading.

Sanchez is the author of more than 20 books and poetry collections, and is a contributing editor to Black Scholar and the Journal of African Studies. In December 2011, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter selected Sanchez as Philadelphia’s first Poet Laureate, calling her “the longtime conscience of the city.” She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University and she held the Laura Carnell Chair in English at Temple University.

She is the recipient of the 2004 Harper Lee Award, and the 2006 National Visionary Leadership Award. Currently, Sanchez is one of 20 African-American women featured in “Freedom Sisters,” an interactive exhibition created by the Cincinnati Museum Center and Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition.

The reading will be held in the Wallis Annenberg Sciences Complex, Wing B, Lecture Hall 132. The university is located at the Eastern Avenue exit of the San Bernardino (10) Freeway.

Public (permit dispensers) parking is available on the top level of Parking Structure C. For campus map and directions, go to http://www.calstatela.edu/univ/maps/cslamap.php.

Info: This event is sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, Department of English, and College of Arts and Letters at Cal State L.A. It is also co-sponsored by W.W. Norton and Co. and Statement Magazine. For more on the poetry reading, call the Cal State L.A. English Department at (323) 343-4140.