Furious Flower: Legacy Seminar for Educators

The biennial seminar celebrates living Black writers whose careers have been marked by creative distinction and critical acclaim. Intended to engage scholars, poets, and college/high school educators, but open to the general public. Our unique legacy seminars highlight the literary contributions of a singular poet, the critical conversations surrounding the poet’s work, and pedagogical strategies for integrating both the critical and creative material into classroom curricula. The week-long seminar consists of lectures, panels, discussions, and workshops based on the featured poet’s work. Previous seminars featured Lucille Clifton (2009), Sonia Sanchez (2011), Yusef Komunyakaa (2017), Nikki Giovanni (2019).  

2021 Legacy Seminar

Groundwork: The Legacy of Poet and Editor Haki Madhubuti 

Seminar dates: June 21- 25, 2021 (Virtual)


HakiMadhubuti-maxherman-photo.jpgThe 2021 featured poet, Dr. Haki Madhubuti, was born Don Luther Lee in Little Rock, Arkansas. A poet, essayist, editor, and publisher, Madhubuti was one of the early prominent voices in the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s. A graduate of the University of Iowa’s MFA program, he has authored more than thirty-five books including YellowBlack: The First Twenty-One Years of a Poet’s Life (2006), which Vibe Magazine writes “conjures up the sound of Miles Davis, the acuity of Richard Wright, the intellect of W.E.B. Dubois, and the grittiness of street culture: a soundtrack to the lives of urban youth across America.” His collections of poetry include Run Toward Fear: New Poems and a Poet’s Handbook (2004), HeartLove: Wedding & Love Poems (1998), Groundwork: New and Selected Poems of Don L. Lee/Haki R. Madhubuti (1996), Earthquakes and Sunrise Missions: Poetry and Essays of Black Renewal, 1973- 1983 (1984), and Directionscore: Selected and New Poems (1971). He is the founder of Third World Press, the largest independent Black-owned press in the United States. Madhubuti’s work has been awarded an American Book Award (1991) and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Groundwork: The Legacy of Poet and Editor Haki Madhubuti will be the fifth legacy seminar presented by Furious Flower. 

Featured faculty and panelists Include:

Dr. Carol D. Lee, Northwestern University
Dr. Diane Turner, Temple University
Dr. Michael Simanga, Morehouse College
Dr. Kelly Norman Ellis, Chicago State University
W. Paul Coates, Black Classic Press
Parnisha Jones, Northwestern University Press
Lisa Lucas, Pantheon Books

The 2021 legacy seminar will build on the strengths of the previous four, while also having the distinction of being the first virtual seminar hosted by Furious Flower. The seminar will retain its customary highlights with the (virtual) presence of the poet throughout the week; lectures by distinguished faculty; and a rich mix of participants—and we are working with JMU Libraries and Educational Technology experts to put in place the best technology and support to reproduce the camaraderie and collaboration that the physical space allowed. 

Many thanks to our generous sponsors: 4-VA, Bluescape, and Virginia Humanities!




Stay tuned for announcements about special guests, including Nora Brooks Blakely, Nikki Giovanni, and Sonia Sanchez! 

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