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The first academic center in the nation for Black poetry

In “Second Sermon on the Warpland” (1968) 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 poetry. We serve James Madison University, our local Harrisonburg community, and scholars everywhere with education, research, and publishing.

Cultivating, honoring, and promoting the diverse voices of Black poets, we collaborate with educational and cultural institutions, literary organizations, and artists to bring you:

Seminars and conferences for writers, educators, and students

Readings featuring emerging and established poets

Integrated arts camps for elementary and middle school students

Concerts and other arts experiences for the general public

Multimedia materials for classroom and individual use



How your donation can help

Furious Flower Poetry Center logo

When you make a tax-deductible contribution to the Furious Flower Fund, you help us study, spotlight, and celebrate Black poets and their poetry. Since the Furious Flower Poetry Center was founded in 1999 (and became an academic center at JMU in 2005), we have helped to advance the genre with three books (one more is forthcoming in 2019); five video anthologies; an annual reading and lecture series; thirteen consecutive inspirational poetry camps for more than 600 children; two national poetry summits for undergraduate creative writers; three of our Legacy Seminars for college and high school educators honoring Lucille Clifton, Sonia Sanchez, and Yusef Komunyakaa; symphonic concerts featuring Bernice Johnson Reagon, Nikki Giovanni, Jayne Cortez and Margaret Walker; and three major conferences on the trends and trajectory of Black poetry in America.

If you’re as passionate about poetry as we are and want to talk with us about making a major contribution, please contact us to discuss your gift.