Sonja is a queer, Serbian-American poet, educator and birth worker based between New York City and Belgrade, Serbia. She received her Masters in Fine Arts from New York University in 2019, where she studied under poets Anne Carson, Yusef Komunyakaa, Sharon Olds, Terrance Hayes and Meghan O’Rourke. Before attending graduate school, she studied poetry and indigenous studies at the Institute of American Indian Arts; she also holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Iowa.

Her poetry has been published in various journals, and in 2018 she was awarded a Writer’s Fellowship by the Edward F. Albee Foundation. As a second generation Serbian-American, her work explores themes of identity, diaspora, dual consciousness, multigenerational bodily memory, family constellations, power, and language and the imaginary as mechanisms for destabilizing inherited (institutional and capitalistic) modes of thinking.

As an educator, she has taught writing at New York University, The City University of New York, and Legal Outreach, a nonprofit that “seeks to level the educational playing field for minority, low-income, and first generation students.” She is also a HypnoBirthing childbirth instructor guiding birthers in instinctive birth, as well as a birth doula with BABS, a nonprofit that provides no-cost support to high-risk birthers. In collaboration with poets Jiaoyang Li and Cole Bjelic, she coedits 叵CLIP, an online journal oriented toward experimental, hybrid and process-based writing and art.

Sonja sees birth work as an extension of her poetry practice and interests in language, breath, memory, the subconscious and the divine. She seeks to provide sensitive, holistic and compassionate care to those whom she supports. As a birth advocate and doula, she wishes for all birthers to feel informed, empowered and emotionally fulfilled in their birth experiences. Growing up with a mother who had three natural births, two of which were home births, Sonja was raised to see birth as a deep experience with the potential to be, not only positive, but empowering and transformational.