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Conference - Seeding the Future of African American Poetry

Wed, 24 Sep 2014 8:00 AM - Sat, 27 Sep 2014 9:00 PM

Seeding the Future of African American Poetry: Sept. 24-27, 2014Held only once a decade, this much-anticipated gathering of poets and scholars features readings by many of the best established and emerging African American poets writing today—and all of these readings are free and open to the public.

For more information and to reserve your place at the Furious Flower Poetry Conference, please visit FuriousFlower2014.com, or call us at (540) 568-8883.

James Madison University and the Furious Flower Poetry Center are committed to creating events that are accessible to all. If you need an accommodation related to a disability or condition please contact us at least two weeks in advance to ensure that we are able to best meet your needs. You can email or call Elizabeth Hoover: hoovered@jmu.edu or 540-568-2694.


Schedule of Events

The following is subject to change as we get closer to the conference. Last updated July 22, 2014. Most of the events are free and open to the public. Those *with asterisks* require registration or tickets.

If you intend to drive onto the JMU campus, please consult our parking guide.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

1 – 5 p.m. Registration, Festival Conference Center (upper level)

6 – 7:30 Gallery opening and reception, Duke Hall Gallery

Time collapses as Nigerian artist Wole Lagunju merges images from the Victorian era with Yoruba Gelede to create intriguing paintings, and pop culture becomes bedfellows with archetypal imagery in his kaleidoscopic works. Such genre-bending speaks to the notions of identity, gender, power, and difference. It also generates conversations about multiculturalism, globalization and transcultural ethos.

8 p.m. *Opening concert,* Forbes Center for the Performing Arts

Fusion: Poetry Voiced in Choral Song: featuring Aurelia Williams (soloist), Morgan State University Choir, and JMU Chorale with original music composed by Randy Klein and based on the poetry of Margaret Walker, Michael Harper, and Yusef Komunyakaa

Thursday, September 25, 2014

8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration, Festival Conference Center Lobby

8 – 8:30 a.m. *Continental breakfast,* Festival Conference Center Ballroom

8:30 – 9:15 a.m. Opening session, Festival Conference Center Ballroom

Retrospective: Furious Flower I and II
Occasion by Joanne Gabbin, executive director of Furious Flower Poetry Center
Welcome by Jonathan Alger, president of James Madison University

9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Critics’ roundtable, Festival Conference Center Ballroom

The Black Avant-Garde: Formal Poetic Innovation by Black Artists in America, moderated by Lauri Ramey, California State University, Los Angeles

11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Lunch break

1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Special session, Festival Conference Center Ballroom

S.O.S. Calling All Black People: Honoring the Memory of Amiri Baraka, moderated by Sonia Sanchez with poetry readings by Tony Medina, Jessica Care Moore, Evie Shockley, Quincy Troupe, Eugene Redmond

4 – 5:15 p.m. Concurrent sessions, Taylor Hall (session titles and locations TBA)

5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Dinner break

8 – 10:30 p.m. Poetry reading, Wilson Hall Auditorium

Nikki Giovanni, Thomas Sayers Ellis (with James Brandon Lewis), Brenda Marie Osbey, Marilyn Nelson, Aracelis Girmay, Michael Afaa Weaver, Patricia Smith

Friday, September 26, 2014

8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration, Festival Conference Center Lobby

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. *Continental breakfast,* Taylor Hall (307)

8 – 9:15 a.m. Concurrent sessions, Taylor Hall (session titles and locations TBA)

10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Critics’ roundtable, Festival Conference Center Ballroom

Poetry of the African Diaspora, moderated by Daryl Cumber Dance, University of Richmond

12:15 – 1:45 p.m. Lunch break

*Laureate’s luncheon,* Festival Conference Center Ballroom (tickets required):
Introduction by Nikki Giovanni, Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech
Keynote by Rita Dove, Commonwealth Professor at University of Virginia

2:15 – 4:45 p.m. Poetry reading, Wilson Hall Auditorium

Rita Dove, Frank X Walker, Ekere Mariahadessa Tallie, Elizabeth Alexander, Cornelius Eady, Toi Derricotte, Nikky Finney, Yusef Komunyakaa, Ishmael Reed

6:30 – 7 p.m. Gallery opening and reception, Festival Conference Center's Lisanby Museum

For the last Furious Flower Poetry Conference in 2004, Malaika Favorite was commissioned to paint a 24-portrait museum piece to serve as the major attraction, and it is featured here. Favorite layered the portraits of famous black poets with fragments of the poets’ writing and images to create, as art historian Maureen Shanahan writes in the International Journal of Art & Design Education (June 2010), “an interactive visual-textual body of poets and poetry.”

7:30 – 10 p.m. *Lifetime Achievement awards gala,* Festival Conference Center Ballroom

10:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. Poetry jam, Festival Conference Center Ballroom

Tyehimba Jess, Kamilah Aisha Moon, Dawn Lundy Martin, Douglas Kearney, Mendi Lewis Obadike, Tennessee Reed

Saturday, September 27, 2014

8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Registration, Festival Conference Center Lobby

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. *Continental breakfast,* Taylor Hall (307)

8 – 9:15 a.m. Concurrent sessions, Taylor Hall (session titles and locations TBA)

10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Critics’ roundtable, Grafton-Stovall Theatre

Going Too Far: The Queer Poetics Distraction from Issues of Race and Class, moderated by Jericho Brown, Emory University

12 – 1:15 p.m. Lunch break

12:30 – 3 p.m. Special session for K – 12 teachers, Taylor Hall (405)

Presented by University of Virginia’s Center for Liberal Arts: an introductory panel on teaching African American poetry (confers professional development credits and requires separate registration; email rla@virginia.edu)

1:30 – 3 p.m. Open mic, Grafton-Stovall Theatre

3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Poetry reading, Grafton-Stovall Theatre

Naomi Long Madgett, Remica Bingham-Risher, Jericho Brown, Camille Dungy, Patricia Spears Jones, Duriel Harris, Samantha Thornhill, A. Van Jordan, Michael Harper (with Paul Austerlitz)

5:45 – 7:45 p.m. Dinner break

8 – 10:30 p.m. *Conference finale,* Wilson Hall Auditorium

Praised for his music’s “elusive beauty” (DownBeat), and for his “style informed by tradition but not encumbered by it” (Philadelphia City Paper), saxophonist Ravi Coltrane brings his quartet to JMU for the close of the 2014 Furious Flower Poetry Conference.