Celebrating the Legacy of Black Poet Joanne V. Gabbin

Arica L. Coleman SAVE THIS

Joanne V. Gabbin (James Madison University)

This April marks the 23rd anniversary of the celebration of National Poetry Month, established by the Academy of American Poets to recognize the importance of poetry to our culture and lives. Although she has received less attention in mainstream historical narratives that tend to center on well-known Black poets such as Maya Angelou, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Sonia Sanchez, Joanne V. Gabbin is one of the most impactful Black poets in the nation.

Gabbin grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and earned a B.A. in English from Morgan State University in 1967. She spent the next decade completing her graduate studies in English at the University of Chicago and teaching the literature she most loved: African American poetry (from which she has built an illustrious career). In 2005, she established Furious Flower Poetry Center (FFPC), the nation’s first academic center for Black poetry…

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