Educate. Celebrate. Preserve.
Taking its name from a line in Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem, “The Second Sermon on the Warpland,” our academic center originated in the acclaimed 1994 Furious Flower Poetry Conference, the first major conference on African American poetry since the 1970s.
This is the archive of that first revolutionary conference.
Timeline: History, Witness, and the Struggle for Freedom in African American Poetry
From the eighteenth century roots of African American poetry, its poets have expressed their existence in a society that debated and debased their humanity. Today their intense exploration of their voices in the racially charged years of the early twenty-first century …Explore
Language, Music, and the Vernacular in African American Poetry
Poets such as Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Sterling Brown, Melvin Tolson, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hayden, and Margaret Walker have explored how poetry embraces and reimagines vernacular language. At the 1994 Furious Flower Conference, critic Eleanor Traylor drew …Explore
Seeding the Future of African American Poetry
Many poets, scholars, and literary historians believe that there is currently a renaissance of African American poetry, which the poet Haki Madhubuti has called “a third renaissance” and poet Elizabeth Alexander has called a “golden age.” The last fifty years have witnessed a “furious flowering,” …Explore