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Writer Arthur Flowers to Perform at Delta Symposium XXIV


JONESBORO – Blues-based performance poet Arthur Flowers will give a featured performance, “Hoodoo Lords of the Delta: Practice, Pedagogy, and Prophecy,” at Arkansas State University's 24th annual Delta Symposium Friday, April 13.  His presentation starts at 11 a.m. in the Carl R. Reng Student Union auditorium.

Afterward, Flowers will answer questions and sign books.  Presented by the A-State’s Department of English, Philosophy and World Languages, the symposium is free and open to the public.

Flowers, a native of Memphis, is an associate professor of English and creative writing in the master of fine arts program at Syracuse University in New York, where he conducts fiction workshops and teaches courses in global storytelling, fable and magical realism, African American literature, and the literary blues. 

A performance poet, novelist and essayist, his many publications include two novels, "Another Good Loving Blues" and "De Mojo Blues," a nonfiction memoir/manifesto, "Mojo Rising: Confessions of a 21st Century Conjureman," a children’s book, "Cleveland Lee’s Beale Street Band," two graphic works, “Brer Rabbit Retold," and "I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King Jr.," and a number of articles and short fiction excerpts.

He is currently working on a nonfiction book, "The Hoodoo Book of Flowers," and another novel, "Rest for the Weary."  Flowers writes a weblog, “rootwork the rootsblog: a cyberhoodoo webspace,” which may be accessed at http://rootsblog.typepad.com/rootsblog.

Flowers describes himself as “a contemporary griot,” or a historian storyteller of the ancient African oral tradition.  According to Flowers, “There are those of us in African American literature who feel that we are heirs to two literary traditions, the Western written tradition and the African oral one, and try in the fusion to contribute something to the evolution of both.”  His presentations, which he terms performance poetry, are accompanied by African instruments.  He is especially interested in “the interplay between literature, mythwork and human destiny.”

Flowers is a founding member and director of New Renaissance Writers Guild in New York City, the multinational Pan African Literary Forum, and The Griot Shop in Memphis and has served as executive director of the Harlem Writers Guild.  His accolades include a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Fiction and a New York State Council of the Arts Literary Fellowship.

Flowers’ performance is a highlight of this year’s Delta Symposium, April 11-14.  Most activities will be held at the Reng Student Union on the A-State campus.

"Delta Symposium XXIV: Discovering the Region’s Voices" is sponsored by the Department of English, Philosophy and World Languages.  For more information, contact symposium co-chair Dr. Gregory Hansen, ghansen@AState.edu, or the department at (870) 972-3043, visit the website AState.edu/delta-symposium, or the Delta Symposium Facebook page.

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Arthur Flowers
Arthur Flowers