Sojourner Kincaid Rolle


Santa Barbara, CA
California US

Author's Bio

Sojourner Kincaid Rolle is poet, playwright, an environmental educator and a peace activist. She was selected as i Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara, CA and served a two-year term. (2015-2017). Her book of poems for young people, The Mellow Yellow Global Umbrella: La Sombrilla Global, Amarillo y Apacible was published by Lucky Penny Press (2015). Her other books include Common Ancestry (Millie Grazie Press, 1999) and Black Street, (Center for Black Studies Research – 2009). Her poems have appeared in the publications California Quarterly, Coffee Press, Squaw Review and others, and in the following anthologies: The Geography of Home (Heyday Books, 1999), Rivertalk 2000, Poetry Zone I, II & III, The Poetry of Peace (Capra Press), A Crow Black as the Sun (Green Poet Press, 2011) and "Corners of the Mouth: Celebrating 30 Years of the SLO Poetry Festival (2014 ) Rare Feathers(Gunpowder Press 2016, and What Breathes Us Gunpowder Press 2016 . She has engaged young poets through her "Song of Place Poetry Project" and her work with City At Peace, Speak for the Creeks, the Annual Young Writers Poetry Contest and the MLK Poetry and Essay Contest. She hosted a monthly poetry event, The Poetry Zone, for several years  and has organized an annual tribute to poetry icon Langston Hughes since 2002.  Rolle is a two-time recipient of the California Arts Council’ Artist-in-Residence program and for eight years led poetry workshops in schools throughout the South County as a part of the Santa Barbara Public Library’s Elli program Sojourner Kincaid Rolle holds B.S.( UNC-Charlotte, 1978) in Criminal Justice with emphasis in Juvenile Delinquency and a J.D. (UC-Berkeley, 1981). She has taught creative writing through UCLA Extension in the California Arts In Corrections program(1992-1999) and African American Literature at UCSB(2007, 2009). She has been leading poetry workshops for young people in the schools and throughout the community since 1992. Rolle is the author of seven books of poetry and six plays. Her arts reviews and commentaries have appear in local and regional publications. Links to additional articles, reviews, video, and recordings at

Publications & Prizes

What Breathes Us:Santa Barbara Poet Laureates 2005-2015 (Gunpowder Press, 2016)
Rare Feathers (Gunpowder Press, 2015)
Solo Novo (Solo Press, 2015)
A Crow Black As The Sun (Green Poet Press, 2011)
Curiouser and Curiouser (John Daniel & Company, 2005)
Poetry of Peace (Capra Press, 2002)
The Geography of Home (Heyday Books, 1999)
To Give Life A Shape (Gunpowder Press, )
Free At Last: A Juneteenth Poem (Sterling Publishing, 2022)
Black Street (Center for Black Studies Research, 2009)
Common Ancestry (Mille Grazie Press, 1999)
California Quarterly
Sage Trail
Squaw Review
Prizes won: 

awards and fellowships from Squaw Valley Community of Writers, California Arts Council Individual Artist Residency program, Irvine Foundation Art In Civic Culture program, SB County Community Arts program and the Next Generation. 2011 AKA "Vision Award"

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Langston Hughes, Lucille Clifton, William Stafford, Nikki Giovanni, Emily Dickinson and Gwendolyn Brooks
What I'm reading now: 
Edwidge Danticat by Nadege T Clitandre, Run Toward Fear by Haki Madhubhuti, Coagulations by Jayne Cortez, Painkiller by Patricia Spears Jones, The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
African American
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Last update: Jul 09, 2022