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Preserving and Promoting Black Writing Since 1983
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Furious Flower 25th Anniversary Celebration Day One

Fri, 11/15/2019 - 09:58
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 […]

In Memoriam: Ernest J. Gaines

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 09:56
  The Project on the History of Black Writing mourns the passing of Ernest J. Gaines. Gaines died from cardiac arrest in his Louisiana home on Tuesday. He was 86. Gaines was born the eldest son of sharecroppers and raised on a plantation in Pointe Coupée Parish, Louisiana. The rural South would become a permanent fixture in his writing because it was not only home […]

Kiese Laymon on the Power of Revision and Description

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 11:52
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 recently Heavy: An American Memoir, […]

We Do Language: Nikki Giovanni A 2019 Legacy Seminar Encounter

Tue, 10/15/2019 - 09:36
[By: Shayna S. Israel]   The Furious Flower Poetry Center has held a biennial summer legacy seminar since 2009, a focused opportunity to study the work of a living poet. As the nation’s only center devoted to Black poetry, Furious Flower’s choice of Nikki Giovanni for the June 2019 seminar gave many a chance to witness the legacy of performing and presenting against well-worn academic […]

A Dying Democracy

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 15:48
[By: Jerry Ward, Jr.]   We live in paradox.  It is a “truth,” universally recognized and universally denied in contemporary American society, that democracy is dying.  Recognition that this “truth” is not a “false-truth” can be enhanced by reading Lynch’s book in tandem with Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students […]

Toni Morrison Remembered

Mon, 09/30/2019 - 10:43
In 1985-1986, I had the great fortune of winning an NEH Fellowship for Individual Study and Research.  At the time, I was teaching at the University of Kentucky, with Zora Neale Hurston scholar Bob Hemenway, Callaloo editor Charles Rowell, and the ineffable scholar-teacher Sandra Y. Govan.  It was an uplifting, timely gift, rescuing me from several life changes that had morphed into life challenges.  The […]
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