JMU poets preview upcoming work

Jordanne Alexander
Jordanne Alexander(WHSV)
Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 10:35 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Two poets affiliated with James Madison University shared details about upcoming projects.

The Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University is the nation’s first academic center devoted to black poetry. Now, the 2021 Carmen R. Gillespie Fellowship will honor the late scholar who studied at the center.

Furious Flower founder Dr. Joanne Gabbin shared the importance of preserving the legacy of her former student.

“I wanted to make sure that her name was etched in the future of the Furious Flower Poetry Center.”

JMU senior Jordanne Alexander was recently awarded the fellowship for the upcoming academic semester.

“Poetry has a very special place in my heart. It means expression, it means being myself. It means talking about all the topics that can be talked about,” Alexander said.

Alexander will develop a project related to black poetry this fall.

Another JMU-affiliated poet, Angela Carter, previewed her new book along with a new printing press.

“What makes us a person? Things happen to us and we never have the answers... maybe the bigger question we ask is: why did it happen? Writing gives us a way to explore that. It’s a form of human connection and a way of honesty,” Carter said.

2nd Avenue Press is now open to submissions for books of full-length poetry.

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