2017-18 Visiting Poets

Furious Flower curates each season’s reading series to highlight recent accomplishments by writers of color and showcase the diversity of aesthetics within contemporary American poetry. These events are often presented in partnership with other departments at the university and are always free and open to the public.

To stay up to date on all our events and programs, subscribe to our email list and follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Use the links below or call (540) 568-8883 for more information on the poets and details on parking. In fall 2017, we present:

Nate Marshall
Sept. 27, 6pm | Downstairs at The Golden Pony

“... parse the sociopolitical systems that imperil black lives ...”

NATE MARSHALL is an award-winning poet and rapper from the South Side of Chicago. We host an open mic starting at 6pm (bring your best!) and then present Marshall at 7pm. The author of Wild Hundreds (named Poetry Book of the Year by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association) and one of the editors of The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop, he is a member of The Dark Noise Collective. He is the Director of National Programs for Louder Than A Bomb Youth Poetry Festival and has taught at The University of Michigan, Wabash College, and Northwestern University.

Kwame Dawes & Matthew Shenoda
Oct. 19, 4pm | Duke Hall Gallery Court

“... themes of inspiration with historical intersections ...”

Co-editors of Bearden’s Odyssey: Poets Respond to the Art of Romare Bearden, KWAME DAWES AND MATTHEW SHENODA read from and discuss this book at JMU surrounded by the images that inspired the ekphrastic poetry.

    • Dawes is is the author of 19 books of poetry and numerous books of fiction, criticism, and essays. He is Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of Nebraska, as well as a faculty member of Pacific University’s M.F.A. program. He is the director of the African Poetry Book Fund and artistic director of the Calabash International Literary Festival.
    • Shenoda has written several books of poetry, most recently Tahrir Suite: Poems, winner of the 2015 Arab American Book Award. He is the Dean of Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Special Advisor to the President at Columbia College Chicago where he is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Creative Writing. He is a founding editor of the African Poetry Book Fund.

“... elegant and elemental ... a balm for and protectant against the hazards of modernity ...”

Nicole Sealey
Nov. 15, 4pm | Madison Union Ballroom (5th floor)

NICOLE SEALEY reveals her just-released Ordinary Beastas our final poet in 2017. She is also the author of The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named, which won the 2015 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. She is the executive director at Cave Canem Foundation, Inc, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Brooklyn, NY committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets.

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