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Prism Gallery 

Prism logo with background of visiting patrons

Located in the lower level hallway of the Festival Conference and Student Center, Prism Gallery is dedicated to exhibiting works emphasizing aspects of diversity, including areas of culture, religion, gender and sexuality.

Prism Gallery is open during normal building hours:
Mon.-Sat. 8AM-12AM; Sun., 9AM-12AM

Non-JMU Visitor Metered Parking is now available across the street from Festival in Lot C12 behind the bus stop.


On Exhibit

Yusef Komunyakaa

This exhibit celebrates and investigates the work of Yusef Komunyakaa, whose career has been marked by creative distinction and critical acclaim, with the poet himself alongside critics, poets, and other scholars. We take its title from his most famous poem, “Facing It,” which is emblematic of Komunyakaa’s style and known for its musicality, muscularity, and fine attention to craft.

Born in 1947 in Bogalusa, Louisiana, Yusef Komunyakaa is a son of the South. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, an experience that infused his creative career. Since writing his first poem in 1975, Komunyakaa has published nearly 20 books, including fourteen collections of poetry, anthologies he’s edited, a collection of prose writing, a translated volume, and two dramatic works. He has been awarded many major prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1994), Kingsley Tufts Award (1994), William Faulkner Prize (1994), National Book Critics Circle Award (Shortlist, 1998), two Creative Writing Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1981, 1987), The Thomas Forcade Award (1991), The Hanes Poetry Prize (1997), Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets (1999), The Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1998), The Wallace Stevens Award (2011), and others.
An educator himself, Komunyakaa has influenced a generation of young poets and scholars. In a piece entitled “Mentor and Friend: Yusef Komunyakaa as Teacher” published in a special issue of Callaloo in 2005, poet Vince Gotera writes, “We each learned through Yusef’s tutelage to give ourselves permission to become poets, to become better poets, to become the best poets we could be” (509). Komunyakaa has taught at several prestigious institutions, among them Princeton University (Council of Humanities and Creative Writing), and he is currently Distinguished Senior Poet at New York University’s Creative Writing program. He has also served as a faculty member at Cave Canem, the premier home for Black poets, at the Callaloo workshops, and the Key West Literary Seminars, among others.
This exhibit is sponsored by the Furious Flower Poetry Center.