you are so sure of love
you are so young
and i too old to learn of love.
Sonia Sanchez's web page
Sonia Sanchez at the Academy of American Poets
Discipline and Craft: An Interview with Sonia Sanchez
I've gone places to read my poetry and the host would introduce me as a performance poet, which is fascinating. The person who read before me, who was a white poet, was not introduced as a performance poet, you know? So I understand the language of it; I've been around a long time. I just go on and do what I do. I wish people in this country would begin at some point to deal with people on an equal basis. We do the work. If you learn your craft and you do the work... there are performance poets, and they go out into the world and perform. And they write their poems for an audience. I get some of those poets as students at Temple. I teach them that poets do not gear their poems up for an audience; you write poetry for yourself. You learn your craft for yourself, in a voice that exists in the world, and you realize you're part of a continuum. You're part of a great tradition of people who began this whole process, all the way from Phillis Wheatley up to the present.