David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University, reads a poem during the River of Words poetry reading in the center’s Poetry Park.
David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University, reads a poem during the River of Words poetry reading in the center’s Poetry Park.

Wick Poetry Center to Benefit From Ford Foundation's $200,000 Grant to the Poetry Coalition

The Poetry Coalition, of which the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University is a founding member, will benefit from a $200,000 grant from the Ford Foundation. To be given over two years, the grant, which will be administered by the Academy of American Poets, will enable the founding members of the coalition to produce national programs on themes of social importance that feature leading contemporary poets. It also will strengthen a network of poetry organizations by making possible two annual meetings of the founding members during the grant term. 

Current members of the Poetry Coalition working group are: 

  • Academy of American Poets, New York, NY
  • Asian American Writers’ Workshop, New York, NY
  • Beyond Baroque, Los Angeles, CA
  • CantoMundo, New York, NY
  • Cave Canem Foundation, Brooklyn, NY
  • Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, Newark, NJ
  • Kundiman, New York, NY
  • Lambda Literary, Los Angeles, CA
  • Letras Latinas, Notre Dame, IN
  • Mass Poetry, Boston, MA
  • National Student Poets/Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, New York, NY
  • O, Miami, Miami, FL
  • The Poetry Center, San Francisco, CA
  • The Poetry Foundation, Chicago, IL 
  • The Poetry Project, New York, NY
  • The Poetry Society of America, New York, NY
  • Poets House, New York, NY
  • Split This Rock, Washington, D.C.
  • University of Arizona Poetry Center, Tucson, AZ
  • Urban Word / National Youth Poets Laureate, New York, NY & Los Angeles, CA
  • Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University, Kent, OH
  • Woodland Pattern Book Center, Milwaukee, WI

“This Ford Foundation grant validates the unique capacity of poetry to engage people in meaningful conversations about important topics in our civic lives and offers historic support for poetry organizations around the country to coordinate their programming and join together in a larger national conversation,” said David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State, in the College of Arts and Sciences. “The Wick Poetry Center is thrilled for this opportunity to expand our programming and to work collaboratively with the Poetry Coalition in an effort to bring poetry to people’s everyday lives.”

The Poetry Coalition, which formally launched in November 2016 after a year of planning, is an alliance of more than 20 nonprofit poetry organizations in 11 cities working together to raise the profile of poets and poetry in the United States. Its inaugural programming began in March 2017 with “Because We Come From Everything: Poetry & Migration,” which reached 100,000 individuals with publications, readings and social media projects.

Poetry Coalition members believe that poetry can uniquely spark dialogue and contribute to encouraging empathy.

Learn more information about the Poetry Coalition

Learn more information about Kent State's Wick Poetry Center