On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, Pew Fellows and poets Sonia Sanchez (1993) and Major Jackson (1995) visited the Center for a conversation about artistic practice, the rewards of teaching, and Sanchez’s influence on younger generations of poets, including Jackson, who studied under Sanchez at Temple University. “I maintain that to be a really good poet, you have got to daydream,” Sanchez says, in reflecting on her life as a poet.
In the first excerpt, Sanchez recalls her study of form with poet Louise Bogan, and how she learned to “deal with complexity” in her work.
In the clip that follows, Sanchez describes her passion for teaching as a means to impart to her students “what it means to be human,” and how her experiences as a teacher translate to her own work.
In the final excerpt, Jackson acknowledges Sanchez as “an international figure” and asks how she thinks about her legacy as a writer, teacher, and activist.
Watch Sanchez read her poem 10 Haikus for Max Roach.>
Watch Jackson read sections from his poem Urban Renewal.>