ffpc logo

Center History




Claiming world-renowned poet and writer Gwendolyn Brooks as inspiration, the Furious Flower Poetry Center was established in October 1999, under the direction of Dr. Joanne Gabbin. According to Gabbin, "Gwendolyn Brooks is the inspiration for the Furious Flower Poetry Center because of her promotion and appreciation of African American poetry."


Read tributes written about Brooks by Dr. Joanne Gabbin and former Poet Laureate of the United States Rita Dove.


Click below to learn more about Gwendolyn Brooks:

•  Interview by Denise Hawkins

•  The Academy of American Poets

•  Gale Publishers Biography

•  National Women's Hall of Frame


Highlighting the great legacy of African American poetry, the Center serves as a resource for the campus and local Harrisonburg community. The Center hosts the Furious Flower Poetry Conference, which celebrates the African-American poetry tradition. Click the links to the left to learn more about the 1994 and 2004 Conferences.