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Furious Flower Unfurls

Wed Dec 2, 2015 at 09:06 AM

participants in the Furious Flower workshop

Faculty and staff from James Madison University’s Furious Flower Poetry Center presented a workshop called “Writing with Impact” to about 30 Blue Ridge students. The session, sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa and SPECTRUM Multicultural Club, was a preview of an event planned next year at JMU to reveal “poetry as a means of reflection and engagement.”

“You all are going to be guinea pigs for these activities — is that okay?” said Dr. Joanne Gabbin, Furious Flower executive director. Gabbin said the workshop would examine how poetry can change the way we see ourselves and the wider world.

Most of the participants were students from English composition or literature classes, along with some members from the sponsoring student organizations. In addition to Gabbin, Elizabeth Hoover and Karen Risch Mott guided the aspiring writers through reading and poetry exercises which explored aspects of modern poetry.

“I learned about the different styles of poetry and how to incorporate them into my own writing,” said one student’s evaluation.

Furious Flower is the nation’s only academic center devoted to African American poetry. College students from all over the country will attend the March 3-5, 2016 “Mirrors & Windows” event  featuring acclaimed writers Kwame Alexander, Meg Medina, Mahogany Browne, and Tony Medina.