Furious Flower Poetry Center

2014 Furious Flower Poetry Conference

Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry
September 24-27, 2014
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807

The Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University invites you to submit a proposal for a paper or panel on African American and black diasporic poetry and criticism for our third decade-defining conference. The three-day conference will examine the significance and development of black poetic expression over the last century, assess the current conversations and controversies in the field, and suggest new avenues of inquiry. The conference will examine the impact of African American poetry on poets and scholars around the world, with an emphasis on emerging voices. Marking the twentieth year since our historic 1994 conference, this conference asks, “what’s next” for black poetic expression.

Major conference themes include
• The Emerging Writer: How MFA programs, poetry workshops, and literary collectives are making way for emerging voices
• The Changing Same: What the changing, yet ever-prevalent influence of music and the oral tradition suggests for the future development of black poetry
• Honoring the Poetic Voice: How has the recognition of poetic genius changed over the last fifty years
• Queer Poetics: The ways in which the voices of black writers challenge cultural mythologies and stereotypes of sexuality and gender
• The Black Avant-Garde: How poets have made homes for themselves under both the banner of “experimental” writing and of “black” writing while confronting questions about authenticity and allegiance
• Hard-won Freedoms: How the gains of the Black Arts Movement created spaces for aesthetic diversity
• Gendered readings: The ways in which the contested terrain of representations of black bodies is shaped by trauma and memory
• Diasporic Poetry: How black poetry is crossing, expanding, and challenging borders

Like the 2004 and 1994 conferences, the 2014 conference will bring together a range of backgrounds, generations, and creative outlooks while launching new scholarship, critical approaches, and performance strategies.

Please submit a proposal of no more than 300 words by February 1, 2014. Please include a brief resume. Accepted participants must pre-register by May 12 to receive the pre-registration price of $225 and to be listed in the conference program.

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