The Wick Poetry Corner and student lounge were dedicated in November 2005. Located on the second floor of the main library on the Kent campus, this space is designed to increase the visibility of the Wick Poetry Center and to house the Tyler Lee Gaston collection of twentieth and twenty-first century poetry books, donated or purchased through funds from generous donors in memory of Tyler Lee Gaston (1980-2004).
Son of Kent State University Trustees professor and former Provost Paul Gaston and his wife, Eileen, Tyler Lee Gaston was a senior English major at Kent State University at the time of his death. He participated in the Wick Poetry Center outreach program in 2004, teaching middle school students at Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Akron and at Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna. Tyler was also a gifted poet, as well as an artist and musician. He was a student worker in the university library and had planned to pursue a master’s degree in library science after graduation.
Over the last eight years, the Wick Poetry Corner has been used for many readings, lectures, and discussions, including a talk on poetry and politics by NEOMFA visiting writer H. L. Hix; poetry and fiction readings by Terry Blackhawk and Nancy Reisman; and a talk on “Jewish Poetry after the Holocaust” by Edward Hirsch, co-sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program. The comfortable study area is enhanced by a wood and glass table designed and built by Christopher Wick in 2004.