For Immediate Release
March 19, 2023
Contact Information

Max Smith, Head of Communications, Oak Spring Garden Foundation

Ginny Cramer, James Madison University

(BPRW) The Landscapes of Black Poetry: A Furious Flower reading

A free event at the Oak Spring Garden Foundation on April 1, 2023

(Black PR Wire) Join us for The Landscapes of Black Poetry, a free poetry event on Saturday, April 1, from 5:30–7 p.m. at the Oak Spring Garden Foundation’s Rokeby Granary. This event will kick off National Poetry Month and will include a wine reception, poetry reading, and conversation about poems of place, belonging, and engagement with the natural world.

The Landscapes of Black Poetry is hosted jointly by Oak Spring Garden Foundation and the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University, the nation’s first academic center dedicated to Black poetry. Established in 2005, following two historic conferences in 1994 and 2004 that gathered Black poets, scholars, and poetry lovers across the world, Furious Flower continues to impact literary communities on local, regional, national and international levels. The evening’s readers include Furious Flower’s leadership, the two award-winning poets Lauren K. Alleyne and L. Renée.  

Lauren K. Alleyne is the author of two collections of poetry, Difficult Fruit (2014) and Honeyfish (2019); two chapbooks, Dawn in the Kaatskills (2008) and (Un)Becoming Gretel (2022); as well as co-editor of Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry (2020). Her work has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, The Atlantic, Ms. Muse, Tin House, and The Caribbean Writer, among others. Her most recent honors include a 2020 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Poetry, the longlist for the 2020 Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, and the shortlist for the 2020 Library of Virginia Literary Awards. Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Alleyne currently resides in Harrisonburg, VA, where she is a professor of English at James Madison University, and the executive director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center.

L. Renée is a poet and nonfiction writer living in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she works as assistant director of Furious Flower Poetry Center and assistant professor of English at James Madison University. Nominated for Best New Poets, Best of the Net and two Pushcart Prizes, her work has been published in Obsidian, Tin House Online, Poetry Northwest, the minnesota review, and elsewhere. The granddaughter of proud Black Appalachians, she won the international 2022 Rattle Poetry Prize and Appalachian Review’s Denny C. Plattner Award, among others. A recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem Foundation and the Watering Hole, L. Renée also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Indiana University, where she was Nonfiction Editor of the Indiana Review, and an MS in Journalism from Columbia University, where she was a Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Moore Fellow. She believes in Black joy, her ancestors, wondering, and wandering.

Nestled on 700 acres of land in Virginia’s Northern Piedmont, the Oak Spring Garden Foundation (OSGF) is dedicated to facilitating scholarship and public dialog on the history and future of plants, including the culture of gardens and landscapes, and the importance of plants for human well-being. OSGF offers Fellowships and Interdisciplinary Residency programs to artists, scientists, conservation practitioners, and others who are doing meaningful work related to the natural world and humanity’s place in it. They also host a variety of short courses, workshops and lectures to engage with the public.

This event is free to attend, but registration must be completed through Eventbrite at


Source: James Madison University