Furious Flower III Trailer

[MUSIC PLAYING] (narrator) The current
flowering of African American poetic expression ranges
beyond categories and labels, extending to variations in
line, form, syntax, and tone. Commemorating the 20th
anniversary of the Furious Flower Conferences, Rita
Dove and Elizabeth Alexander put their fingers
on the expansion in the crafting of
the black aesthetic. When we were at the very
first Furious Flower, we had no idea that t his
was going to continue. We hoped, but we had no idea
it was going to continue. And I think I didn’t
realize how incredibly lucky I was to have been at this point
to have found this family that was identifiable and nourishing,
and at the same tough. That’s what family has to be. Yes. All these years. And how do you
experience the toughness? The toughness comes from,
I think, a sense of no one allowing you to wallow in
your own misery and to say, oh, nobody understands me. Nobody does this,
or published me. It’s this idea that while
we celebrate everybody, we also recognize that the
world out there is tough, that the road is long. And I’m not only
talking about poetry. I’m talking about just
being African American. But that there’s no time to
just sit here and grouse. We just have to keep on becoming
the poets that we want to be. Yes. How do you experience, or do
you experience, the toughness? I feel certainly
I’ve been thinking more about this
reading than I’ve thought about a reading
for a long time, about what do I want
to bring to my people. I know that I will see
people over the 10 years, but just feeling
like this is a moment to share something that’s
new, but that is also a very vulnerable place to be. April 4, 2012, my
beloved husband vanished off this earth. He died very unexpectedly. And I wouldn’t have imagined
that I would have written about that, and I
wouldn’t have imagined that I would have written
about it in some form of prose. I thought for a little while
maybe I wasn’t a poet anymore. But then I thought, well, just
write what you have to write, and that is what
you’re meant to do. And what I have
found among the many, many, many things and the many
gifts of the last two years and almost six months is that
to have art as a companion through grief is the greatest
gift that I could have imagined besides the human gifts
that came to me and my sons in so many ways. So the book is in five sections,
with small sections within. And I’m going to
read a few sections from “The Light of the World.”

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