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Furious Flower Poetry Conference

Our flagship event, the Furious Flower Poetry Conference convenes every 10 years for scholars and writers from around the world to explore contemporary trends in Black literature, culture, and thought, and publish a signature volume of poetry, poetics, and criticism to commemorate each conference.

Our next conference will be in 2024!

About the Conference

At the historic first Furious Flower Conference in 1994 and successful convenings in 2004 and 2014, some 1,300 people packed JMU auditoriums to hear from and learn more about African American poets and poetry. The Furious Flower Poetry Conference embraces a range of backgrounds, generations, and creative outlooks while launching new scholarship, critical approaches, and performance strategies.

We’re looking forward to a successful and lively gathering again in 2024 with scholarly panels and papers, critical roundtables, readings by prominent poets, and much more.

Sign-up for our mailing list to stay informed about the 2024 conference.


“This is black poetry planet.”
—Nikky Finney at the 2004 Furious Flower Poetry Conference

“I was invited to attend the first Furious Flower conference ... and I had to convince the dean to give me funding to travel there. The conference was worth every penny she gave me, and every word I’ve written since then.”
 Natasha Trethewey in a March 2014 article published by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

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