David Sanchez Delivers 2023 Hobson Lecture
On Monday, April 3rd, author David Sanchez was awarded the 2023 Mary Frances Hobson Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Letters.
Following the dinner and prize conferral, Sanchez delivered the annual Hobson Lecture in Vaughan Auditorium of Robert Marks Hall. Following a six-week course reading Sanchez’s book, “All Day is Along Time,” students anxiously awaited the lecture, in addition to faculty, staff, community members, and members of the Hobson family. Opening the program, Dr. Danny Moore, Chowan University Provost, shared about the time with the students in the course and the discussions as they read the book, a semi-autobiography sharing personal traumas, additions, and redemption.
Sanchez shared that having left graduate school three years ago, he did not want just to lecture; he wanted to share the joy of writing, his current struggles with writer’s block, and the “pure bliss of sitting in a chair typing away and seeing what comes out.” He read from chapter four of his book, sharing it was the most fun for him to write and is what he believes is the best chapter of the book. The chapter focused on the parallels between mathematics and wrestling and personal struggles.
Following his reading and sharing a few sentiments, Sanchez engaged with the audience, who asked several questions about the book, but also about his processes and how is working to overcome his writer’s block, to which he shared that he feels it is about finding inspiration in what you are writing or working in something that your passionate about. At the conclusion of the lecture, the audience had the opportunity to engage one-on-one with Sanchez and even receive copies of his book that he autographed.
Initiated in 1995 by the Hobson Family Foundation of San Francisco, the award serves as a memorial to Mary Frances Hobson (1912-1993), a journalist and poet, who was the first woman to receive the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award in journalism from the University of North Carolina. The annual event brings the university and community together each spring to celebrate the accomplishments of an author of the South or who writes about the South.
A native of Florida, David Sanchez is the recipient of a James A. Michener Creative Writing Fellowship, a PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship, and a Tin House Workshop Summer Scholarship. A graduate of the University of Miami’s M.F.A. program in fiction, his poetry and fiction have been published in Thread Literary Inquiry, and Momma Tried.