PUBLISHER:
  Furious Flower
  Poetry Center
  MSC 3802
  Harrisonburg, VA 22807
  PHONE: (540) 568-8883
  FAX: (540) 568-8888

  FOR INFORMATION   CONTACT:
  Natalia Bradshaw-Parson
  bradshnr@jmu.edu

 

Activities

 

Archived Activities
Children’s Poetry Camp

Conferences
Furious Flower II DVD
Mourning Katrina
National Poetry Month
Poetry Club
Scholarly Projects
Visiting Poets and Scholars

 


 

Children’s Poetry Camp

New! Learn more about Children's Poetry Camp

August 1-3, 2005, marked the beginning of a new Furious Flower tradition as we hosted our first annual Children’s Poetry Camp.  At the camp, we worked with underrepresented 9 through 13 year olds from in and around the Harrisonburg area. 

Dolores Shoup of WVPT, our local PBS affiliate, joined us on the first day to introduce the children to the genre of poetry with some of her favorite poems.  That afternoon, the campers learned about haikus, elegies, acrostics, and odes, and began to write some of their own poetry.

The following day, Dr. Gabbin and artist Margot Bergman taught the children about biographical poetry, and the campers wrote poems about their hands, accompanied by their own art work.  That afternoon Pat Kennedy of the Reading Road Show led the children in activities that emphasized rhythm, rhyme, and the similarities between poetry and music. 

A highlight of our last day of camp was a visit from Norman Jordan, an African American performer and poet from West Virginia.  Mr. Jordan introduced the kids to Carter G. Woodson through performance.  The rest of the day, the kids worked on developing their own poetry performance, and concluded the camp with a concert of their works.

We are currently working on an e-book of poetry written by our campers, which will be featured on this website. 

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Conferences

The Furious Flower Poetry Center has organized two conferences that brought together well-established and emerging African American poets.  The first Furious Flower conference, A Revolution in African American Poetry, was held at James Madison University in 1994.  Ten years later, many poets and critics gathered in the same space to focus on Regenerating the Black Poetic Tradition.  Both conferences were dedicated to poet Gwendolyn Brooks.  Please visit our archives to find out more about these decade-defining conferences.

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Furious Flower II DVD now available!

We are excited to celebrate the release of Furious Flower II, published by California Newsreel and produced by Judith McCray.  The DVD features interviews and performances of poetry at the 2004 Furious Flower Poetry Conference.  To find out more about the DVD and how to order a copy for your school’s library, please follow this link.

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Mourning Katrina

Furious Flower Poetry Center has launched a project in response to the Katrina tragedy.  “Mourning Katrina: A Poetic Response to Tragedy” is a national poetry writing project to which those directly and indirectly affected by the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina can respond through poetry and have their poems read by established poets and teachers of literature. 

If you have written a poem about Katrina and would like to share it with us, please send it to Mourning Katrina, c/o Furious Flower Poetry Center, MSC 3802, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807.  Include your name, age, and contact information.  Please also provide your signature and a statement of consent if you would like your response reviewed by established poets and used in publications or other media productions.

Whether you are an established poet or a novice, we are interested in hearing from you.  Please direct your questions to Dr. Gabbin at 540-568-6310 or send questions via email to Julie Caran at caranjg@jmu.edu.

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National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month was established by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 as a month-long, national celebration of poetry. The goal is to increase the attention paid by individuals and the media to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our poetic heritage, and to poetry books and magazines. National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world.

During National Poetry Month each April  poetry enthusiasts strive to:

Highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets Introduce more Americans to the pleasures of reading poetry
Bring poets and poetry to the public in immediate and innovative ways
Make poetry a more important part of the school curriculum
Increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media
Encourage increased publication, distribution, and sales of poetry books
Increase public and private philanthropic support for poets and poetry

The Furious Flower Poetry Center and the JMU Poetry Club sponsor a packed month of poetry activities each April. In 2006, these activities included poetry readings, poem of the day, the Second Annual Furious Flower Poetry Center Slam, and a guest appearance by renowned Caribbean poet and scholar, Mervyn Morris.

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Poetry Club

The JMU Poetry Club was created by Furious Flower Poetry Center in Fall 2005.  JMU students and poets in the Harrisonburg community meet weekly to workshop their latest poems and to study poetry that inspires them.  The Poetry Club meets on Mondays at 6 p.m. in ISAT 148.  The Furious Flower Poetry Center provides opportunities for club participants to work with professional poets, such as T.J. Anderson, III, and Mervyn Morris.

Members of the poetry club are also involved in community service projects.  They have acted as student ambassadors to visiting students and poets, and are currently working with Pat Kennedy, director of the Reading Road Show, to bring poetry to underrepresented children in the Harrisonburg area.  Poetry Club members are also currently working to develop the Shenandoah Valley SLAM Team.

If you are interested in learning more about the club, please contact Elizabeth Haworth at hawortex@jmu.edu or 568-2694.

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Scholarly Projects

Dr. Joanne Gabbin and Elizabeth Haworth are currently developing a college-level class on poet Lucille Clifton.  We hope to present a related summer workshop for college professors in 2007.

We are currently editing a collection of writings by the Wintergreen Women’s Collective, a group of African American writers who meet annually to write and workshop together. 

Dr. Gabbin has visited a number of conferences this fall to present the lecture “African American Poets Revealed.”  The lecture includes clips from Furious Flower II, the DVD recently released by California Newsreel.  Dr. Gabbin introduces her audience to key concepts in the history of African American poetics.

Dr. Gabbin presented a paper on Paul Laurence Dunbar at the Dunbar Conference in Stanford, California, in March 2006. She has also written an essay on Washington D.C. poet laureate Dolores Kendrick, which is slated to be included in The Heritage Series of Black Poetry, 1962-1975: A Research Compendium to be published by Ashgate Publishing.

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Visiting Poets and Scholars

Furious Flower Poetry Center brings African American poets and scholars of poetry to campus for performances, lectures, and workshops.

During the 2005-2006 school year, the invited speakers included Nikki Giovanni, Mervyn Morris, The Iron Rose Tour, and T.J. Anderson.

In Fall of 2006, we are welcoming to campus Def Poetry Jam, E. Ethelbert Miller, James Peterson, and Jayne Cortez and the Firespitters. Check our calendar or the news page for upcoming events!

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  Archived Activities