Furious Flower Poetry Center Announces Winners of 2024 Furious Flower Poetry Prize


SUMMARY: Furious Flower Poetry Center is thrilled to announce the winner and honorable mention for the 2024 Furious Flower Poetry Prize judged by Roger Reeves. This year, the winner and honorable mention will read alongside Reeves at our decennial conference, Furious Flower IV: Celebrating the Worlds of Black Poetry.

Furious Flower Poetry Center is thrilled to announce that prize judge Roger Reeves has selected the winner of the 2024 Furious Flower Poetry Prize, Michelle Alexander. Alexander’s winning poems include “America Taps Paul Robeson on the Telephone with the Welsh Miners,” “Cheryl Boyce-Taylor,” and “Ode to the Rap Game.”  

michelle alexander headshot Alexander is an American-Trinidadian poet, creative nonfiction writer, and mixed media artist. She is a graduate NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in “What it Means to be a Poet: Interweaving a Study of the Humanities with the Human Experience.” She has studied under critical thinkers Judith Butler and Avital Ronell at The European Graduate School’s Philosophy, Art, Critical Thought division. She holds an MFA from Columbia College Chicago, where she has explored languages of vulnerability and resistance, American-Trinidadian imaginaries, and disordered perspectives on loss and joy to poetically evoke a palimpsest of histories: personal to cultural, grand to local. Among her list of publications is her chapbook, She Takes a Machete As if She Knows Everything, published by Bottlecap Press and nonfiction work that has appeared in Salt Hill. Her mixed media art was recently shown at the Brooklyn Center for History, commissioned by Jacqueline Woodson’s I See My Light Shining: Baldwin-Emerson Elders Project. She is a poet in residence with the Chicago Poetry Center and the founder and director of interdisciplinary arts for UnWoven Literary and Arts Magazine. 

Alexander says she is “humbled and deeply honored to be accepted into a place [Furious Flower] where Black voices not only matter but also resound as blessings. To be recognized by Roger Reeves, whose writing transports and challenges us in a context where we write for ourselves—is a luminous thing. I am thankful to those poets in life and craft who continue to teach me how to speak with my own voice and feel with my whole being.” 

raejeana brooks headshot Reeves also selected the honorable mention, RaeJeana Brooks for her poems “ECSTASY,” “Horny (for the world to slow down),” and “NATURA MORTA.” Brooks is a Florida-born poet, essayist, and movement artist. Her writing work has or will be curated in Brink, Foglifter, The Offing, and other esteemed journals, like the inboxes of her loved ones. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction and poetry from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Roots Wounds Words, as well as a grant from the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. Brooks’ artist’s book, ECSTASY, is forthcoming in fall 2024. 

Brooks says “it is perhaps one of my proudest moments to hold this distinction from an organization whose work means so much to me, to poetry at large, to the ailing world. I am humbled and grateful to be a [furious] flower on the garland of this generous, beautiful tradition.”  

Alexander and Brooks will be reading their work alongside Roger Reeves during the decennial Furious Flower Conference in September 2024 at James Madison University. Their work will also be published alongside the finalists in Obsidian. 

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by Megan N. Medeiros

Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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