Furious Flower

Gregory Pardlo - poetry reading

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

4 p.m.
Festival Highlands Room
This event is free and open to the public.

“In an age of poems crafted to resemble linguistic balloon-animals or sheets of floral wallpaper, it is rare to find an American poet thinking seriously about anything. I suppose that’s what makes Gregory Pardlo’s engaged, intelligent poetry ... feel a bit like stumbling out of the desert to encounter the Nile River. ... These are poems that delight the ear, encourage the heart, and nourish the brain.” —Campbell McGrath 

The Furious Flower Poetry Center presents Gregory Pardlo, who won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for his book Digest. Phillip B. Williams of The Rumpus characterized Pardlo’s work as “very American (Brooklyn, NY especially),” noting that it “speaks to the American (im)possibilities of being a person who is always searching for a home that is right beneath his feet, mischievously shifting beneath him as history in its three forms of past, present, and future swallow him whole.”

Pardlo’s poems are personal and poignant as well as political. He studied political science at Rutgers until he got bored with it and joined the Marines. Several years later, he returned to Rutgers to study English and “came out of the literary closet,” fully embracing his love for poetry. His first collection, Totem, was published in 2007. Profiled on PBS NewsHour in 2015, Pardlo talked about becoming an artist:


About the poet, from Pardlo's website: Gregory Pardlo’s ​collection​ Digest (Four Way Books) won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Digest​ was also shortlisted for the​ 2015 NAACP Image Award and was a finalist for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. His other honors​ include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; his first collection Totem was selected by Brenda Hillman for the APR/Honickman Prize in 2007. He is also the author of Air Traffic, a memoir in essays forthcoming from Knopf. Pardlo joins the faculty of the M.F.A. program in creative writing at Rutgers University-Camden in the fall of 2016.  He lives with his family in Brooklyn.


This event at JMU’s Festival Conference & Student Center, Highlands Room, is free and open to the public.

Guests do not need a permit to park in Lot D3. All parking regulations for JMU students, faculty and staff will remain in effect, and students attending the event are required to park in appropriate student parking lots with a JMU parking permit.

Regular enforcement will continue in other parking lots, and you may receive a parking citation if parked in restricted lots. Parking is prohibited in specialty spaces such as Service Vehicle spaces, handicap spaces without proper permit, or expired meters. Parking is also prohibited in Fire Lanes.

This event is supported in part by a grant from the William M. King Foundation and
presented in partnership with the Center for Multicultural Student Services.

Furious Flower Poetry Center at JMU

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