Sonia Baku

Position title: Honorary Fellow


Sonia Baku is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison George L. Mosse/Laurence A. Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies, and a writer of fiction and nonfiction.

Her stories and personal essays feature encounters across class, culture, and historical era. Her short story, “An International Man,” about a dying Jewish revolutionary was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In current essays, she describes the impact of 1970s political idealism and its loss, and examines the power of nostalgia in music. She is working on a novel, “Last Letter from Iran,” a story of love and commitment between an Iranian revolutionary and a Jewish-American activist during the Iranian Revolution that explores cultural similarities and conflicts, and the impact of history on individual lives.

Sonia is a recipient of scholarships from Wesleyan College and the Vermont College of Fine Arts summer programs, and has been awarded a Ragdale Creative Writing Residency. She is a long-serving board member of Omega School which has helped thousands of adults obtain a GED, and she is a volunteer consultant to the Arts and Literature Laboratory which facilitates dialogue among artists, writers, and communities. Before coming to the Center, she directed initiatives which brought together leaders in health care research, government, business, and unions to develop evidence-based, equitable national policies in disease prevention and in women’s health. Her educational programs have been highlighted by the New York Times, the Pioneer Press, The Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio.

Sonia holds an ScM in public health policy from The Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, an MA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BA in Spanish from Grinnell College.