A Guide to the

Furious Flower Poetry Center Conference Records, 1970-2009, bulk 1992-2005

UA 0018

Compiled by: Tiffany Cole, August 2016

Descriptive Summary

 

Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: Furious Flower Poetry Center Conference Records, 1970-2009, bulk 1992-2005

Collection No.: UA 0018
Creator: Furious Flower Poetry Center

Extent: 9 Hollinger boxes, 1 oversize Hollinger box, 1 record storage box, 1 rolled storage container, 1 oversize flat folder; 6.03 cubic feet

Language: English

Abstract: The Furious Flower Poetry Center Conference Records, consisting of 6.03 cubic feet (9 Hollinger boxes, 1 oversize Hollinger box, 1 record storage box, 1 rolled storage container, 1 oversize flat folder), is comprised of the materials related to the decennial Furious Flower Poetry Center conferences beginning with the inaugural conference in 1994.

 

Administrative Information

 

Access Restrictions: Collection open to research. Currently, the silk banners used in the 2004 and 2014 Furious Flower Poetry Conferences may only be requested (in writing) by Furious Flower Poetry Center staff. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions: Copyright for official University records is held by James Madison University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], [box #, folder #], Furious Flower Poetry Center Conference Records, 1970-2009, bulk 1992-2005, UA 0018, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Acquisition Information: Furious Flower Poetry Center transferred these materials to Special Collections on May 16 and June 29, 2016.
Other Formats Available: Digitization of media content is in-process as of August 2016. Access will be made available to content once digitization is complete, barring any copyright or use restrictions.
Accruals: It is anticipated that the Furious Flower Poetry Center will continue to donate conference files approximately every ten years.
Processing Information: The donor’s original order, including folder titles, was maintained whenever possible. The archivist imposed an order on any unordered files, titled any untitled files, and created discrete series. Social security numbers and bank account numbers have been redacted from materials. When possible, newspapers and clippings were photocopied and originals returned to donor. The collection of magnesium letterpress die plates are individually boxed and organized by the poem’s appearance in the publication Furious Flower: A Revolution in African American Poetry into larger boxes (one record storage box and one oversize Hollinger box).

Administrative History:

In 1994, James Madison University, under the leadership and direction of professor of English Dr. Joanne V. Gabbin, hosted the first Furious Flower Poetry Conference entitled A Revolution in African American Poetry. This Conference, dedicated to acclaimed poet Gwendolyn Brooks, featured scholars, critics, and the most accomplished and esteemed poets of the time including Nikki Giovanni, Rita Dove, Sonia Sanchez, Michael S. Harper, Haki Madhubuti, and Gwendolyn Brooks herself. The name “Furious Flower” is derived from Brooks’ poem Second Sermon on the Warpland in which she writes:
The time
cracks into furious flower. Lifts its face
all unashamed. And sways in wicked grace.
Many who participated in the inaugural Furious Flower conference had their roots in the Black Arts Movement. The Black Arts Movement emerged in the wake of the Black Power Movement of the 1960s and 1970s and was comprised of politically motivated black visionaries, poets, artists, dramatists, musicians, and writers. Due to the success of the 1994 Furious Flower Conference, the Furious Flower Poetry Center (FFPC) was established in 1999 and the Conference became a decennial event, held every ten years. The subsequent conferences were Regenerating the Black Poetic Tradition (2004) and Seeding the Future of African American Poetry. Conference programming is comprised of concerts, readings, roundtable and panel discussions, and paper presentations.

Scope and Content:
The Furious Flower Poetry Center Conference Records, 1970-2009, undated, bulk 1992-2005, consisting of 6.03 cubic feet (9 Hollinger boxes, 1 oversize Hollinger box, 1 record storage box, 1 rolled storage container, 1 oversize flat folder), is comprised of the materials related to the decennial Furious Flower poetry conferences, beginning with the inaugural conference in 1994. A significant portion of the records include logistical and planning documentation for each conference as well as marking and promotional items. These materials are comprised of calls for papers, contracts, correspondence, address lists, ticket requests, travel, transportation, and lodging reservations, and menus. The records include nontraditional items as well. Of interest are exhibit panels (text labels and images) describing and depicting the participants of the 1994 conference. Magnesium letterpress die plates used to print a limited edition portfolio Furious Flower: A Revolution in African American Poetry, a special collection of 23 poems selected by poets (who participated in the 1994 conference) to represent their work, are included. Five silk banners that adorned the Wilson Hall auditorium during the 2004 and 2014 conferences are contained included. In general, material types are similar across Series 1 and 2.

While there may be overlap in content, materials directly related to general organizational activities of the Furious Poetry Center form a separate collection – Furious Flower Poetry Center Records, UA 0017.

Arrangement:

The collection is arranged into four series:

Series 1: 1994 Conference, 1970-2009
Series 2: 2004 Conference, 2002-2007
Series 3: Media
Series 4: Oversize, 1994-2004

As a result of their inherent chronological series arrangement, Series 1 and 2 are arranged alphabetically with the exception of the Exhibit of Participants materials and the magnesium letterpress die plates in Series 1 which located at the end of the series due to their size. Series 3: Media has no particular arrangement as the materials are undergoing digitization as of August 2016. Series 4: Oversize is arranged by size.

Bibliography:
"Furious Flower Poetry Center." James Madison University. Accessed August 30, 2016. https://www.jmu.edu/furiousflower/index.shtml.

Related Material
:
Furious Flower Poetry Center Records, 1990-2014, UA 0017, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Separated Material
:
Furious Flower Poetry Center donated a box of rolled posters in cardboard tubes, all identical, from the 1994 and 2004 conferences – each cardboard tube contained one 1994 poster and one 2004 poster. Due to duplication elsewhere in this collection, only one set of posters was retained. They were flattened and placed in the Oversize series.

Contents:

Series 1: 1994 Conference, 1970-2009

Arranged alphabetically with the exception of the Exhibit of Participants materials and the magnesium letterpress die plates which are located at the end of the series due to their size. Note that the numbering system for the letterpress die plates is sequential based on each poem’s order in the publication Furious Flower: A Revolution in African American Poetry. As such the first folder/four-flap enclosure in box nine is labeled 9:21b. This is the plate for page two of the 21st poem in the publication.

Materials in this series primarily document the planning and implementation of the 1994 Furious Flower Poetry Conference: A Revolution in African American Poetry. Records include travel and lodging reservations, correspondence with participating poets, financial documentation and budgets, and mailing lists. Marketing and promotional items such as posters and brochures are included. Conference evaluations completed by attendees and folders labeled “Positive Responses” document the overwhelming success of the conference. Of particular interest are exhibit components from the 1994 conference that include text labels and images of each participating poet. The photographs for these panels were taken by C. B. Claiborne. Copy 225 of 300 of Furious Flower: A Revolution in African American Poetry is located in box 2, folder 5. The magnesium letterpress die plates used to print this collection of poetry are also included here. Each plate is individually housed in a four-flap enclosure and then boxed in order of appearance in the publication.

Folder Title Box : Folder
1994 Conference Finances, 1993-2004 1:1
Addresses, 1991-1999 1:2
Articles Written/Speeches Given, undated 1:3
Bell Atlantic, 1994 1:4
Commitments, 1993-1994 1:5
Compiled Evaluations - Furious Flower, 1994 1:6
Conference - Abstracts Rejected, 1993-1994 1:7
Conference Pictures, 1994 1:8
Conference Responses, 1993-1994 1:9
Conference Working Papers Furious Flower, undated 1:10
CVs of Various Artists, 1993-2009, undated (Folder 1 of 2) 1:11
CVs of Various Artists, 1993-2009, undated (Folder 2 of 2) 1:12
Faculty Ticket Requests, 1994 1:13
FFI DVD & Video, 1998-2009 2:1
FF: Critics, 1993-1998 2:2
FF: Poets, 1991-1994 2:3
Film Documentary, 1994-1995 2:4
"Furious Flower: A Revolution in African American Poetry" Collector's Edition, 1994 2:5
Furious Flower Brochure, 1992-1994 2:6
Furious Flower Conference, 1993-1994 2:7
Furious Flower Conference Book Exhibit, 1970-1994 2:8
Furious Flower Conference Fall '93, 1993-1994 2:9
Furious Flower Conference Fall '93, 1993-1997 2:10
Furious Flower Conference - Menus, 1994 2:11
Furious Flower Conference Transportation & Travel, 1994 2:12
Furious Flower Contracts, 1994 2:13
Furious Flower Inquiries - to be entered on response, 1994 3:1
Furious Flower Revised Master, 1994 3:2
Incoming Conference Correspondence, 1994 3:3
JMU Conference Committee, 1993-1994 3:4
Mailing Labels, 1995 3:5
Master Copies - Tickets, 1994 3:6
Media Relations, 1994 3:7
Miscellaneous Conference Materials, 1992-1995 (Folder 1 of 3) 3:8
Miscellaneous Conference Materials, 1992-1995 (Folder 2 of 3) 4:1
Miscellaneous Conference Materials, 1992-1995 (Folder 3 of 3) 4:2
Motel/Hotel Accommodations, 1993-1994 4:3
Open Mic Furious Flower Poets, 1993-1994 4:4
Outgoing Conference Correspondence, 1993-1994 (Folder 1 of 2) 4:5
Outgoing Conference Correspondence, 1993-1994 (Folder 2 of 2) 4:6
Patrons, 1994 4:7
Photographs, 1994 4:8
Photographs, Contact Sheets, 1994 5:1
Positive Responses - Conference 1994, 1994 (Folder 1 of 2) 5:2
Positive Responses - Conference 1994, 1994 (Folder 2 of 2) 5:3
Press Furious Flower Conference Fall '93, 1993-2003 5:4
Press Pictures, 1994 5:5
Promotional & Event Materials [SELECTED ITEMS REMOVED TO OVERSIZE], 1994 5:6
Proposal, Budget, Media Relations, 1993-1994 5:7
Publication Permission Slips, 1993-1994 5:8
Publications [SELECTED ITEMS REMOVED TO OVERSIZE], 1994 5:9
Receivables, 1994 5:10
Registration Information, 1994 5:11
Remittance, 1993-1994 5:12
Schedules and logistics, 1994 5:13
Signature Portfolio, 1994 5:14
Student Ticket Requests, 1994 5:15
Travel Requests, 1994 5:16
Volunteers, 1994 5:17
Exhibit of Participants - Elizabeth Alexander, 1994 6:1
Exhibit of Participants - Samuel W. Allen, 1994 6:2
Exhibit of Participants - Alvin Aubert, 1994 6:3
Exhibit of Participants - Jabari Asim, 1994 6:4
Exhibit of Participants - Amiri Baraka, 1994 6:5
Exhibit of Participants - Gerald Barrax, 1994 6:6
Exhibit of Participants - Joanna M. Braxton, 1994 6:7
Exhibit of Participants - Gwendolyn Brooks, 1994 6:8
Exhibit of Participants - Toi Derricotte, 1994 6:9
Exhibit of Participants - Rita Dove, 1994 6:10
Exhibit of Participants - Mari Evans, 1994 6:11
Exhibit of Participants - Joanne V. Gabbin, 1994 6:12
Exhibit of Participants - Nikki Giovanni, 1994 6:13
Exhibit of Participants - General Signs, 1994 6:14
Exhibit of Participants - Group Photos, 1994 6:15
Exhibit of Participants - Michael S. Harper, 1994 6:16
Exhibit of Participants - Joyce Ann Joyce, 1994 6:17
Exhibit of Participants - Dolores Kendrick, 1994 6:18
Exhibit of Participants - Pinkie Gordon Lane, 1994 6:19
Exhibit of Participants - Naomi Long Madgett, 1994 7:1
Exhibit of Participants - Haki R. Madhubuti, 1994 7:2
Exhibit of Participants - E. Ethelbert Miller, 1994 7:3
Exhibit of Participants - Opal Moore, 1994 7:4
Exhibit of Participants - Aldon L. Nielsen, 1994 7:5
Exhibit of Participants - Raymond R. Patterson, 1994 7:6
Exhibit of Participants - Sterling D. Plumpp, 1994 7:7
Exhibit of Participants - Arnold Rampersad, 1994 7:8
Exhibit of Participants - Bernice Johnson Reagon, 1994 7:9
Exhibit of Participants - Eugene Redmond, 1994 7:10
Exhibit of Participants - Sonia Sanchez, 1994 7:11
Exhibit of Participants - Sharon Strange, 1994 7:12
Exhibit of Participants - Lorenzo Thomas, 1994 7:13
Exhibit of Participants - Eleanor W. Traylor, 1994 7:14
Exhibit of Participants - Jerry W. Ward Jr. 1994 7:15
Exhibit of Participants - Sherley Anne Williams, 1994 7:16
Exhibit of Participants - Val Gray Ward, 1994 7:17
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 1 Title Page, 1994 8:1
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 2 Introduction, 1994 8:2
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 3 Alexander, Elizabeth "After," 1994 8:3
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 4 Allen, Samuel "The Apple Trees in Sussex," 1994 8:4
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 5 Aubert, Alvin "Baptism," 1994 8:5
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 6 Baraka, Amiri "In the Funk World," 1994 8:6
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 7 Barrax, Gerald "Liberation," 1994 8:7
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 8 Braxton, Joanne M. "Zoning," 1994 8:8
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 9 Brooks, Gwendolyn "The Second Sermon on the Warpland," 1994 8:9
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 10 Derricotte, Toi "Boy at the Paterson Falls," 1994 8:10
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 11 Dove, Rita "The Island Women of Paris," 1994 8:11
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 12 Evans, Mari "I Am A Black Woman," 1994 8:12
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 13 Giovanni, Nikki "Nikki-Rosa," 1994 8:13
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 14a Harper, Michael S. "The Beauty Shell," 1994 (plate 1 of 3) 8:14a
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 14b Harper, Michael S. "The Beauty Shell," 1994 (plate 2 of 3) 8:14b
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 14c Harper, Michael S. "The Beauty Shell," 1994 (plate 3 of 3) 8:14c
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 15 Kendrick, Dolores "Black Women at the Basin," 1994 8:15
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 16 Lane, Pinkie Gordon "Girl at the Window," 1994 8:16
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 17 Madgett, Naomi Long "Reluctant Light," 1994 8:17
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 18 Madhubuti, Haki "Poet: What Ever Happened to Luther?," 1994 8:18
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 19 Miller, E. Ethelbert "Roy Campanella: January, 1958," 1994 8:19
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 20a Patterson, Raymond R. "Letters to a Black Poet," 1994 (plate 1 of 2) 8:20a
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 20b Patterson, Raymond R. "Letters to a Black Poet," 1994 (plate 2 of 2) 8:20b
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 21a Plumpp, Sterling D. "Thaba Nchu," 1994 (plate 1 of 2) 9:21a
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 21b Plumpp, Sterling D. "Thaba Nchu," 1994 (plate 2 of 2) 9:21b
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 22a Redmond, Eugene B. "Barbequed Cong: or We Laid My Lai Low," 1994 (plate 1 of 2) 9:22a
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 22b Redmond, Eugene B. "Barbequed Cong: or We Laid My Lai Low," 1994 (plate 2 of 2) 9:22b
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 23 Sanchez, Sonia "I Have Walked a Long Time," 1994 9:23
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 24a Ward, Jerry W., Jr. "Jazz to Jackson to John," 1994 (plate 1 of 3) 9:24a
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 24b Ward, Jerry W., Jr. "Jazz to Jackson to John," 1994 (plate 2 of 3) 9:24b
Magnesium letterpress die plate - 24c Ward, Jerry W., Jr. "Jazz to Jackson to John," 1994 (plate 3 of 3) 9:24c
Magnesium letterpress die plate - Williams, Sherley Anne "Big Red and His Brothers," 1994 9:25
Magnesium letterpress die plate - Limited Edition Statement, 1994 9:26

 

Series 2: 2004 Conference, 2002-2007

Arranged alphabetically.

Materials in this series primarily document the planning and implementation of the 2004 Furious Flower Poetry Conference: Regenerating the Black Poetic Tradition. Records include travel and lodging reservations, correspondence with participating poets, financial documentation and budgets, and mailing lists. Marketing and promotional items such as posters and brochures are included. During the 2004 conference, notable African American scholars including Tony Bolden, Hilary Holladay, and Monifa Love conducted interviews with presenting conference poets including Houston Baker, Rita Dove, and Tony Medina. The corresponding transcripts are included and are particularly significant to African American poetry scholarship. Of particular interest is congratulatory correspondence and RSVP regrets for the 2004 conference from Julian Bond, Governor Mark Warner, Senator George Allen, the office of President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry, President and CEO of the NAACP Kweisi Mfume, and many others. Some of these letters were printed in the official conference program. Also of interest are evaluations completed by conference attendees. Five silk banners used to decorate the Wilson Hall auditorium during the conference are included in this series. The banners are rolled onto dowels and housed in a rolled storage container. Currently, the silk banners may only be requested (in writing) by Furious Flower Poetry Center staff.

Folder Title Box : Folder
2004 Conference Contract Letters, 2004
10:1
Facilities, 2004 10:2
FF 2004 Conference Correspondence, 2005 10:3
FF 2004 Essays, 2004 10:4
FF Accommodations, 2003-2004 10:5
FF African American Theatrical Ensemble (AATE), 2003-2004 10:6
FF Barnes & Noble, 2003-2004 10:7
FF Bibliography, 2003 10:8
FF Call for Papers, 2003-2004 10:9
FF Dignitaries, 2004 10:10
FF Evaluations, 2004-2007 10:11
FF Letters Post Conference, 2004-2005 10:12
FF Media Clips 2004, 2004-2006 10:13
FF Musical Venues, 2004 10:14
FF Poster 2004 [SELECTED ITEMS REMOVED TO OVERSIZE], 2004 11:1
FF Programs, 2004 11:2
FF Room Reservations, 2003 11:3
FF Steering & Planning Committee Minutes, 2002-2004 11:4
FF Talent Release Forms (Misc.), 2004 11:5
FF Transportation, 2004 11:6
FF Vendors, 2003 11:7
FFII DVD, 2004-2005 11:8
Furious Flower Poets, undated 11:9
Furious Flower Quilt, undated 11:10
Interview Transcripts I, 2004 11:11
Interview Transcripts II, 2004 11:12
Photographs [SELECTED ITEMS REMOVED TO OVERSIZE], 2004 11:13
Promotional & Event Materials, 2004 11:14
Review FFII DVD, 2007 11:15
VIA International, 2004 11:16

 

Series 3: Media

No particular arrangement.

All media is in the process of being digitized as of August 2016. Access to content will be made available once digitization is complete, barring any copyright or other use restrictions.

Series 4: Oversize, 1994-2004

Arranged by size.

The Oversize series consists of one oversize box and two oversize folders – one smaller than the other. The larger oversize folder contains conference posters separated from their intellectual arrangement within the existing series due to their common size and includes a separate set of posters donated in a cardboard tube. The smaller oversize folder, comprised of photographs and separated from Series 2, 2004 Conference, Box 11: Folder 13), is housed physically within the larger oversize folder; both are housed in Map Case 1:3. The photographs are foldered separately due to their size and inherent preservation needs of the material. The rolled storage container contains the five silk banners used in the 2004 and 2014 Furious Flower Poetry Conference. Currently, the silk banners may only be requested (in writing) by Furious Flower Poetry Center staff.

Folder Title Box : Folder
Oversize (comprised of materials separated from folders 5:6, 5:9, 11:1 11:13 and a separate set of conference posters), 1994-2004  
Map Case 1:3, Folder 1
Photographs, 2004 Map Case 1:3, Folder 1a
Conference Banners, 2004 Rolled Storage Container 1