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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.

Coming up ...

August 1-5, 2016

Wor(l)d Explorers:
Furious Flower
’s 12th Annual Childrens Poetry Camp

 For more information, click here.

Photos from our 2015 Children's Poetry Camp

Throw Your Head Back and Sing: A Tribute to Maya AngelouSept. 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 starting June 16, 2016:
(540) 568-7000 or

Presented by
Furious Flower Poetry Center, Joanne Gabbin, Director
Steger Poetry Prize, Nikki Giovanni, Director

For more information, click here.




  • Aug 1: Wor(l)d Explorers! - Children's Poetry Camp
  • Sep 22: Maya Angelou: Poetry That Travels - panel discussion
  • Sep 29: Throw Your Head Back and Sing - tribute to Maya Angelou
  • Oct 13: Danez Smith - poetry reading
  • Jun 18: Yusef Komunyakaa - legacy seminar