Zero-Tolerance Policies and Its Contributions to Systematic Racism

[By: Ellee Rogers] In a  rapidly changing education system, it can often be difficult to pinpoint if society is progressing or deteriorating. Behind institutionalized racism lies long-term consequences that studies show adolescents may carry with them for the rest of their lives. One of the most prevailing of these includes the school-to-prison-pipeline, which is the process in which children are pushed out of schools and […]

“My Professor’s Workshops “-A Tribute to Gerald Barrax

[By: Lenard D. Moore]  I need to visit those who weigh heavily on my mind.  As a result of the progression of years and the busyness of daily living, I don’t always get the opportunity to reach out.  For the past two or three months, however, I have constantly considered stopping by my former poetry professor’s house, which is only about eight minutes from mine.  […]

Furious Flower 25th Celebration: Day Two

Below is a response to Furious Flower’s  25th Anniversary Celebration from former and current HBW staff members and affiliates:   Portia Owusu, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor / ACES Fellow of English in the Department of English at Texas A&M University:   The second day of the celebration demonstrated the community aspect of the Furious Flower Center since activities involved both invited guests and the general public. The […]

Furious Flower 25th Anniversary Celebration: Day One

Furious Flower Poetry Center has been at the forefront of Black poetry for 25 years. As the nation’s first academic center for Black poetry, Furious Flower was founded on the campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and born out of a 1994 poetry festival titled “Furious Flower: A Revolution in African American Poetry,” organized by scholar Joanne Gabbin. The festival brought thirty presenters […]

Kiese Laymon on the Power of Revision and Description

[By: Victoria Garcia Unzueta] On October 3rd KU welcomed critically-acclaimed author Kiese Laymon to the Lied Center to deliver the 2019 Common Book Lecture. Laymon is a contributor in this year’s common book, Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation, and has authored a number of books including his debut novel Long Division, an award-winning collection of essays titled How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, and most […]

We Do Language: Nikki Giovanni A 2019 Legacy Seminar Encounter

[By: Shayna S. Israel]   The Furious Flower Poetry Center has held biennial summer legacy seminars since 2009 (with a hiatus in 2013 and 2015), a focused opportunity to study the work of a living poet.  Beginning with Lucille Clifton,  seminars have been held on Sonia Sanchez (2011) and Yusef Komunyakaa (2017). As the nation’s only center devoted to Black poetry, Furious Flower’s choice of […]

Remembering Paule Marshall

[By: Giselle Anatol]   “Tell your heroes you love them.Thank you, Ms.Marshall. Rest well. If you don’t know her, read, Soul Clap Hands and Sing. Or anything she’s written. As a matter of fact, just read Black women, past and present. Period.” —Jason Reynolds, New York Times bestselling author.   Paule Marshall’s work has been a touchstone in my life. Attending suburban New Jersey public […]