Interactive Program – Day 2

Friday September 30, 1994

This is an interactive version of the original 1994 Furious Flower Poetry Conference program, altered only to account for last-minute changes to the schedule. Although the concurrent sessions and a few other events were not filmed, you can use this program to experience most of the conference as it originally unfolded. You can also access the original program by clicking the button below.

Critics’ Roundtable: Critical Theories and Approaches in African American Poetry

9:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M. (Grafton-Stovall Theater)

In short, theory is obligated to explain relations between people and artifacts in the contexts of history and culture. In that sense, theory is necessary for rigorous examination of African American poetry.

Jerry W. Ward, Jr


Keynote Speeches

1:00 P.M. – 2:45 P.M. (Wilson Hall)

Most rewarding I believe, has been the agitated presence of very young writers, who have come here to listen, to learn, to reject, or to listen, and accept, with or without reservations. You old timers, some of these people are going to write books that will survive yours and mine… It’s a reviving treat to look at them. I want them to go on richly, enjoying themselves, because this particular fresh joy will be theirs only in this adolescence of career.

Gwendolyn Brooks

Poetry Reading

3:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M. (Wilson Hall)

In fact, we might say that Nikki Giovanni orchestrates a full symphony of words; and those words ask questions that lead to answers, that lead to more questions; and those words make a declarative, emphatic statement. You must make, you must be a statement, Nikki will tell you.

Gloria Wade Gayles


Tribute Banquet

7:00 P.M. – 9:30 P.M. (Phillips Hall)

Form is only the vessel that carries the message; the ideal; the wisdom…to be a good poet…demands commitment and depth of character of which few are capable of.

Eugenia Collier