Professor Lauren K. Alleyne, whose recent book "Honeyfish" (New Issues, 2019) won the 2018 Green Rose Prize, will present the next Writers Read event. She is assistant director at JMU's Furious Flower Poetry Center. (Photo by Erica Cavanagh)

JMU professor Lauren K. Alleyne to present February Writers Read

Poet and author Lauren K. Alleyne will speak at the next Writers Read event on Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m. in Eastern Mennonite University’s Common Grounds coffee shop. The reading, sponsored by the Language and Literature department, is free to the public. Donations will be accepted at the event.

Alleyne’s most recent book, Honeyfish (New Issues, 2019), won the 2018 Green Rose Prize from New Issues Press. According to Alleyne’s website, Honeyfish “is about being a Black immigrant woman in the world and constantly navigating those identities internally and externally in a variety of landscapes and timescapes.”

Alleyne teaches English at James Madison University (JMU) and is the assistant director of  the university’s Furious Flower Poetry Center, the nation’s first academic center for Black poetry. Alleyne also serves as editor-in-chief of Furious Flower’s online quarterly, The Fight & The Fiddle.

“In exquisitely crafted poems of heart-accelerating candor and clarity, Lauren K. Alleyne says to all the black bodies slain by hatred and militarized fear, ‘Nothing I say will save you, but how can I say nothing?’” writes Tracy K. Smith, U.S. Poet Laureate from 2017-19. “Honeyfish is an elegy for all the countless lost, and a praise song for the many black lives that persist in their wish to give and receive love.”

Alleyne has also published the poetry collection Difficult Fruit (Peepal Tree Press, 2014), and her poetry, fiction, and non-fiction work has been featured in The Atlantic, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and Crab Orchard Review, among many other publications. She hails from Trinidad and Tobago.

“My poems are lyric and narrative movements towards clarity of vision,” Alleyne writes. “In my work, I look. I look at myself, at nature, at the cultures I live in, at the stories I’m told, at the things I believe, etc., etc.”