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The only academic center in the nation devoted to African American poetry

We cultivate, honor, and promote the diverse voices of African American poets by making the genre accessible to a wide audience and collaborating with educational and cultural institutions, literary organizations, and artists. A department of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, the Furious Flower Poetry Center is committed to being a resource to both the campus and the nation through education, research, and publishing. We fulfill our mission by

hosting visiting poets for readings at JMU and nearby venues;

sponsoring workshops for emerging poets;

holding an annual poetry camp for rising third to eighth graders;

producing texts, videos, DVDs and other materials on African American poetry; and

gathering poets and scholars for panels, seminars, and conferences.



You are a vital part of Furious Flower!

Furious Flower Poetry Center logo

When you make a tax-deductible contribution to the Furious Flower Fund, you help us study, spotlight, and celebrate African American poets and poetry. Since the Furious Flower Poetry Center was founded in 1999, we have helped to advance the genre with three books; four video anthologies; an annual reading and lecture series; nine consecutive inspirational poetry camps for more than 600 children; two national poetry summits; three legacy seminars honoring Lucille Clifton, Sonia Sanchez, and Toni Morrison; symphonic concerts featuring Bernice Johnson Reagon, Nikki Giovanni, Jayne Cortez and Margaret Walker; and two decade-defining conferences.

This fall, we host our signature event, the Furious Flower Poetry Conference (Sept. 24-27, 2014), which happens only once every ten years. In it, we embrace a range of backgrounds, generations, and creative outlooks while launching new scholarship, critical approaches, and performance strategies. We gather the best established and emerging voices, presenting readings and roundtable discussions that are free and open to the public.

Please consider your role in supporting this and all our programming:

$100-$199, Foundation Member
$200-$499, Director’s Circle  
$500-$999, Furious Flower Advocate
$1,000-$2,999, Furious Flower Laureate
$3,000 and more, Furious Flower Visionary

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.


 Furious Flower Advisory Board

Ms. Lynn Carter, Lansdowne, Virginia
Ms. Carter Moffett Douglass, Staunton, Virginia
Ms. Deborah Gille, Carolina Beach, North Carolina
Dr. John Lowe, Athens, Georgia
Ms. Opal Moore (chair), Atlanta, Georgia
Ms. Saranna Rankin, Broadway, Virginia
Ms. Myra Sklarew, Bethesda, Maryland