Sonia Sanchez

Internationally-acclaimed Philadelphia Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez will speak and give a poetry reading at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, at St. Paul’s Church, 22 E. Chestnut Hill Ave. in Chestnut Hill. Admission is free and the public invited.

The event, “An Afternoon with Sonia Sanchez,” commemorates the stay of Eleanor Roosevelt at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church 64 years ago when she was presented with the first National Fellowship Award by the Philadelphia Fellowship Commission.

Sanchez, one of 20 African-American women featured in “Freedom Sisters,” an interactive exhibition created by the Cincinnati Museum Center and the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition, follows in Eleanor Roosevelt’s footsteps with her commitment to activism for peace , justice and social equality.

A sponsor for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Sanchez is also a mother and an authority on black culture and literature, women’s liberation and peace and social justice. She is the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University and has held the Laura Carnell Chair in English at the university.

In addition to her 20 published books, Sanchez is the inspiration behind the Philadelphia mural project “Peace is a Haiku Song.” Recently she has been exploring haiku as a vehicle for engendering peace among youth by encouraging them to listen to each other’s hearts and write the simple and challenging lines of peace.

“Poetry”, she said, “makes us remember the best of ourselves and others.”

Following the event, Sanchez will be available for a book signing.

For more information call 215-242-2055 or visit the church on the Web at www.stpaulschestnuthill.org.