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Welcome to Furious Flower

Furious Flower Poetry Center logo

In “Second Sermon on the Warpland,” Pulitzer-Prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks writes,

The time
cracks into furious flower. Lifts its face
all unashamed. And sways in wicked grace.

Taking its name from these lines in Brooks’ poem and dedicated to her literary legacy, Furious Flower is the nation’s first academic center devoted to African American poetryWe serve James Madison University, our local Harrisonburg community, and scholars everywhere with education, research, and publishing.

Throw Your Head Back and Sing: A Tribute to Maya AngelouComing up: Sept. 29, 2016

Throw Your Head Back and Sing:
A Tribute to Maya Angelou

Featuring performances by more than 20 poets and vocalists

Both poetry reading and musical concert, this tribute to one of America’s most popular writers echoes Angelou’s own frequent pairing of two art forms, spoken word and spirituals. 

Buy tickets from the Forbes Center’s box office: (540) 568-7000 or

Supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

For more information, click here.




  • Sep 22: Maya Angelou: Literature That Travels - panel discussion
  • Sep 29: Throw Your Head Back and Sing - tribute to Maya Angelou
  • Oct 13: Danez Smith - poetry reading
  • Nov 10: Lauren K. Alleyne - poetry reading
  • Mar 23: Gregory Pardlo - poetry reading
  • Jun 18: Yusef Komunyakaa - legacy seminar