Influential and Inspirational Black Poets

The Furious Flower Lifetime Achievement Award is given to poets whose substantial body of work has influenced and inspired younger poets. Below are all of the honorees so far.


Awarded in 2014 at the third Furious Flower conference, Seeding the Future of African American Poetry:

Rita Dove

Toi Derricotte

Michael Harper

Yusef Komunyakaa

Marilyn Nelson

Ishmael Reed

Quincy Troupe


Awarded in 2012 at a tribute to Toni Morrison hosted by Joanne Gabbin (Furious Flower), Nikki Giovanni (Virginia Tech), and Maya Angelou, which was called “Sheer Good Fortune”:

Maya Angelou

Toni Morrison


Awarded in 2004 at the second Furious Flower conference, Regenerating the Black Poetic Tradition:

Alvin Aubert

Houston A. Baker

Amiri Baraka

Lucille Clifton

Nikki Giovanni

Haki Madhubuti

Velma Pollard

Eugene Redmond

Sonia Sanchez

Askia Touré


Awarded in 1994 at the first Furious Flower conference, A Revolution in African American Poetry:

Margaret Walker

Samuel Allen

Gwendolyn Brooks

Mari Evans

Pinkie Gordon Lane

Naomi Long Madgett

Raymond Patterson

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