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Community Outreach

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Programs in the Harrisonburg Community

The Furious Flower Poetry Center hosts several readings and workshops throughout the region, including the following.

  • Throughout the year, all of the campus poetry readings presented by Furious Flower are free and open to the public.
  • As faculty advisor to the Word Is Born writers' society, we encourage JMU’s student poets to write and perform.
  • At our annual Children’s Poetry Summer Camp, we inspire children to explore all the ways they can be creative with words: through writing, dance, music, art, and more. Find information on this year’s camp on our home page (see the schedule of events), or you can subscribe to get updates on camp registration and events by email. Traditionally, the camp is held during the first week of August.
  • Every April, which is National Poetry Month, poems are collected and left in the poem catcher basket that hangs on the weeping willow by the pond known as the Poet Tree.
  • In celebration of Art Month at Thomas Harrison Middle School in Harrisonburg, staff from Furious Flower help students to write and perform poetry at an annual THMS Poetry Slam.
  • Once a decade, Furious Flower hosts a major national conference, gathering many of the best established and emerging African American poets writing today, along with students and scholars. Several of the conference events are also open to the public: at the historic first Furious Flower conference in 1994 and our successful encore in 2004, some 1,300 people packed JMU auditoriums to hear from and learn more about African American poets and poetry. In 2014, the local community is invited to concerts by the Morgan State University Choir, the JMU Chorale, and renowned saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, as well as an art opening at the Sawhill Gallery in Duke Hall.

Please consult the schedule of events on our home page for details on all of our upcoming programs. If your school, organization, or company is interested in offering a writing-centered activity, please contact us at (540) 568-8883.