Welcome to Furious Flower
In “Second Sermon on the Warpland,” Pulitzer-Prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks writes,
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.
Furious Flower hosts Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Celebrations in April 2017
Throughout April, which is National Poetry Month, Furious Flower will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Gwendolyn Brooks, to whom the center is dedicated. Please consult our Events listing below for the full schedule.
Gwendolyn Brooks (1917–2000) was well-known for her support of up-and-coming Black poets, so the capstone of these celebrations will be the Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize. This $2,000 prize recognizes and seeks to continue her legacy by providing both recognition and financial support to emerging Black poets. The prize, which will be judged by renowned poet Patricia Smith and presented by Brooks’ daughter Nora Blakely, will culminate in a reading featuring the winner and honorable mention at James Madison University on April 17, 2017. Read more about the prize on our submission guidelines and instructions page.
Joanne Gabbin Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
On 2 Sept. 2016, the JMU Office of Sponsored Programs honored Dr. Joanne Gabbin with a lifetime achievement award at its first-ever ... Read More >
First Furious Flower poet-in-residence
DaMaris Hill spent two weeks with Furious Flower this spring to develop her poetry on women of resistance. ... Read More >
Remembering Michael S. Harper (1938-2016)
Poet Michael S. Harper died on May 7, 2016. Furious Flower's executive director, Joanne Gabbin, remembers their literary kinship. ... Read More >
- Nov 10: Lauren K. Alleyne - poetry reading
- Jan 17: Samantha Thornhill - poetry reading
- Feb 10: Split This Rock + Furious Flower - reading
- Feb 16: Submission deadline - Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize
- Mar 23: Gregory Pardlo - poetry reading
- Apr 1: Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial art and artifacts - exhibit (all month)
- Apr 6: Gwendolyn Brooks Bench Dedication and Community Reading
- Apr 17: Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize winners - reading
- Jun 18: Facing It: The Poetry of Yusef Komunyakaa - legacy seminar
- Jun 23: Yusef Komunyakaa - reading and book signing