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Haven will host In Conversation with Sonia Sanchez, a free post-show discussion with the esteemed writer, poet and activist. Sanchez's play 2 x 2 is featured as part of DIRECTORS HAVEN, the company's ever-growing initiative annually showcasing the talents of three rising directors. Hosted by Artistic Director Ian Damont Martin and the play's director, Aaron Mays, the conversation about Professor Sanchez's work, her life and the interplay between arts and activism will be held on Sunday, October 27 at 6 pm (following the 3 pm performance) at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. Advance reservations are recommended by visiting Eventbrite.

In addition to Sonia Sanchez's lyrical drama 2 x 2, this year's DIRECTORS HAVEN also features Caryl Churchill's ambitious surrealist work THIS IS A CHAIR directed by Lauren Katz and Dan Giles' tender yet challenging one-act HOW YOU KISS ME IS NOT HOW I LIKE TO BE KISSED directed by AJ Schwartz. The three productions, which will have the support of a full production team, run back-to-back in one program through October 30, 2019 at The Den Theatre. Tickets ($10 suggested donation) are available at havenchi.org.

Poet. Mother. Professor. National and International lecturer on Black Culture and Literature, Women's Liberation, Peace and Racial Justice. Sponsor of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Board Member of MADRE. Sonia Sanchez is the author of over 16 books including Homecoming, We a BaddDDD People, Love Poems, I've Been a Woman, A Sound Investment and Other Stories, Homegirls and Handgrenades, Under a Soprano Sky, Wounded in the House of a Friend (Beacon Press, 1995), Does Your House Have Lions? (Beacon Press, 1997), Like the Singing Coming off the Drums (Beacon Press, 1998), Shake Loose My Skin( Beacon Press, 1999), and most recently, Morning Haiku( Beacon Press, 2010). In addition to being a contributing editor to Black Scholar and The Journal of African Studies, she has edited an anthology, We Be Word Sorcerers: 25 Stories by Black Americans. BMA: The Sonia Sanchez Literary Review is the first African American Journal that discusses the work of Sonia Sanchez and the Black Arts Movement. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts, the Lucretia Mott Award for 1984, the Outstanding Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, she is a winner of the 1985 American Book Award for Homegirls and Handgrenades, the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Humanities for 1988, the Peace and Freedom Award from Women International League for Peace and Freedom (W.I.L.P.F.) for 1989, a PEW Fellowship in the Arts for 1992-1993 and the recipient of Langston Hughes Poetry Award for 1999. Does Your House Have Lions? was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is the Poetry Society of America's 2001 Robert Frost Medalist and a Ford Freedom Scholar from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Her poetry also appeared in the movie Love Jones. Sonia Sanchez has lectured at over 500 universities and colleges in the United States and has traveled extensively, reading her poetry in Africa, Cuba, England, the Caribbean, Australia, Europe, Nicaragua, the People's Republic of China, Norway, and Canada. 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 Harper Lee Award, 2004, Alabama Distinguished Writer, and the National Visionary Leadership Award for 2006. She is the recipient of the 2005 Leeway Foundation Transformational Award. Currently, Sonia 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 and she was the recipient of the Robert Creeley award in March of 2009.

Photo Credit: (left to right) Merrina Millsapp and Sheree Bynum in 2 x 2 by Sonia Sanchez, directed by Aaron Mays, part of Haven's DIRECTORS HAVEN 2019. Photo by Austin D. Oie.

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