Splendor Splashes

Publications from Furious Flower

These books and other materials provide a record and reflections on movements, events, and moments of particular significance to the Furious Flower Poetry Center. In them, you'll find education, inspiration, and a wealth of poetry, prose, and portraits of the poets — both in written word and visual imagery.

Rita Dove’s “Ode to My Right Knee” Broadside

Rita Dove's broadside: Ode to My Right KneeA COLLECTOR’S ITEM from the 2014 Furious Flower Poetry Conference, this limited-edition letterpress broadside is signed by the poet, Rita Dove. Only 100 numbered and 26 lettered broadsides were produced in partnership with the Virginia Arts of the Book Center, a program of the Virginia Foundtaion for the Humanities.

  • Commemorative broadside: 1 two-color (9-3/4" x 15") limited-edition letterpress broadside, hand-numbered or -lettered, signed by Rita Dove
  • Publisher: Virginia Arts of the Book with Furious Flower Poetry Center (2014)
  • Language: English

$50 | James Madison University

The Painted Word: African American Poets Notecards

Notecards, Painted Quilt

TWENTY NOTECARDS feature collage portraits of Gwendolyn Brooks, Rita Dove, Langston Hughes, and Claude McKay by mixed-media artist Malaika Favorite. All are panels from the massive “Quilt Portrait” commissioned for the 2004 Furious Flower Poetry Conference. 

  • Boxed notecards: 20 full-color (5″ x 7″) cards and white envelopes
  • Publisher: Pomegranate (2004)
  • ASIN: B001G7PRZE
  • UPC: 717195220532

$10 | James Madison University

The Furious Flowering of African American Poetry

Furious FloweringAFRICAN AMERICAN POETRY, with its wellsprings in jazz and vernacular culture and its inescapable political dimension, stands among the most important bodies of literary work of the twentieth century. This collection of essays and six lively interviews with practicing poets, arising from the now-famous Furious Flower Conference of 1994, provides a mosaic of the major critical and aesthetic issues emerging from the poetry and its literary milieu.

African American poets writing in the last fifty years have raised their voices in the struggle against racism, sexism, political and economic exploitation, violence, and injustice. Gwendolyn Brooks, Rita Dove, Haki Madhubuti, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka (aka LeRoi Jones), Joyce Ann Joyce, Sherley Anne Williams, Michael S. Harper, Margaret Walker and many others have created lyrical beauty in their exploration of public and private concerns. Unlike any previous scholarship, The Furious Flowering of African American Poetry draws readers into a dialogue with leading poets and critics of African American literature and culture. The interviews and critical essays address the adequacy and appropriateness of theoretical models for assessing the work of black poets, the construction of a literary framework in which to place the poets and their work, and the art and purpose of the poets themselves.

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press (July 29, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813918413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813918419 

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Furious Flower: African American Poetry from the Black Arts Movement to the Present

Furious Flower BookA FASCINATING PORTRAIT of African American poetry at the close of the twentieth century, this book also offers an indication of where it may be headed in the twenty-first. It includes biographies of the contributors and a dynamic collection of performance photographs by C. B. Claiborne featuring many of the poets as they performed at the second Furious Flower Conference, held in 2004 at James Madison University.

The forty-three poets cover three generations, ranging from such established voices as Michael Harper, Nikki Giovanni, and the late Gwendolyn Brooks, in whose honor the conference was organized, to a host of rising young writers who are reimagining America in the language of a hip-hop nation.

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press (February 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813922534
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813922539 

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Mourning Katrina: A Poetic Response to Tragedy

Mourning Katrina Book coverTHE MOURNING KATRINA NATIONAL WRITING PROJECT helped survivors deal with the emotional trauma of their experience through writing poetry. This book was born out of human suffering and owes its existence to the cooperation and generosity of spirit of more than three hundred people who participated in the Project.

This amazing collection of poems was born out of human suffering. It’s about devastation and grief, the politics of poverty and race, and the failure of society to act humanely … But it’s also about hope and healing.

When Hurricane Katrina ripped through the Gulf Coast leaving over 1800 dead and 1.3 million homeless, editor Joanne V. Gabbin was shocked and angry at the government's slow response. Gabbin—a Professor of English at James Madison University — launched the Mourning Katrina project to help the victims sort out the disaster's horrific events.

Mourning Katrina is the result of that literary outreach. More than 200 participants—young and old, neophytes and master poets alike — give voice to the rainbow that comes after the storm, the revival of spirit that comes out of the depths of tested faith.

Mourning Katrina is about anger, grief and hope, memory and music, accusations and prayer. “The voices in this poetry,” notes Lisa Tracy, author of Muddy Waters: The Legacy of Katrina, “may be the very best way to make sure we do not forget. Because it’s not over yet, and we must not forget.”

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Media (January 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098000778X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980007787 

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Shaping Memories: Reflections of African American Women Writers

TWENTY-FIVE PROMINENT BLACK WOMEN WRITERS reveal decisive moments in their careers in short essays. With contributions from such figures as novelist Paule Marshall, folklorist Daryl Cumber Dance, poets Mari Evans and Camille Dungy, essayist Ethel Morgan Smith, and scholar Maryemma Graham, the anthology provides a thorough overview of the formal concerns and thematic issues facing contemporary black women writers.

Editor Joanne Veal Gabbin offers an introduction that places these writers in the context of American literature in general and African American literature in particular. Each essay includes a headnote summarizing the writer's career and aesthetic development. In their pieces these women negotiate educational institutions and societal restrictions and find their voices despite racism, sexism, and religious chauvinism. They offer strong testimony to the power of words to heal, transform, and renew.

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (August 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604732741
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604732740 

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