Fall 2019 Visiting Poets and Lecturers

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 Spring 2019, we present:

Visiting Poets from Ewatini: 

Sept. 26| Reading 7:00pm | D-Hall, Hall of Presidents 

As part of the State Department's Arts Envoy Program and the Center of Global Engagement's International Week, Furious Flower welcomes Nontobeko “Ntobie” Ndzabukelwako, Samkelisiwe “Sammy” Nkambule, Thamsanqa “KrTC” Sibandze, Ntokozo “The Conductor” Mdluli, and Qiniso “Qibho” Motsa to James Madison University for a poetry reading.

Amanda Johnston

Oct. 17 | Reading 5:30 pm | Festival Conference and Student Center- Highlands Room

Amanda Johnston was born in East St. Louis, IL and raised in Austin, TX. She is the author of two chapbooks,GUAP and Lock & Key, and the full-length collection Another Way to Say Enter (Argus House Press). Her honors include the Christina Sergeyevna Award from the Austin International Poetry Festival, a joint finalist for the Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism from Split This Rock, and multiple Artist Enrichment grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, Amanda is a member of the Affrilachian Poets and has received fellowships from Cave Canem Foundation and the Austin Project at the University of Texas. Johnston is a Stonecoast MFA faculty member, a cofounder of Black Poets Speak Out, and founder / executive director of Torch Literary Arts. She serves on the Cave Canem Foundation board of directors and currently lives in Texas.

McKinley E. Melton

Nov. 7 | Lecture 4pm | Festival Conference and Student Center- Highlands Room

McKinley E. Melton is scholar-in-residence at the Furious Flower Poetry Center for the 2019-20 academic year, under the auspices of the Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars, awarded by the American Council of Learned Societies. Dr. Melton, Associate Professor of English at Gettysburg College, earned his B.A. in English and African & African American Studies from Duke University and his PhD from the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is also the recipient of a 2015 Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and was a 2015-16 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University.  In addition to several forthcoming works on Black poetry and poetics, Dr. Melton’s active scholarly agenda includes published essays on the work and writing of James Baldwin, Richard Wright, James Weldon Johnson, Zora Neale Hurston, Danez Smith, and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


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