Sixteenth Annual Giving Voice Poetry Reading to Come to Kent State
By Ellie Enselein
The 16th annual Giving Voice poetry reading will be held at Kent State University on Wednesday, May 3, in the Kent Student Center Ballroom from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Giving Voice features students in grades 3-12 from Kent and Akron schools, international students from after-school programs in the Akron area and families from Akron and Kent.
All work is original and was created in Wick Poetry Center outreach programs, including the Kent State undergraduate service-learning course Teaching Poetry in the Schools, taught by Nicole Robinson, assistant director of the Wick Poetry Center.
Students in Teaching Poetry in the Schools work in the classroom for the first half of the semester, creating lesson plans and working on individual writing. The second half of the semester, students go in pairs to local schools to teach students.
“My students are from a variety of majors, but are mostly writing minors with a focus in creative writing,” Robinson says. “Students are in my class because they have a love for poetry. The course allows them to take what they love and share it with their students and the community. It’s an honor to watch my students grow as both writers and teachers.”
Robinson believes it is important for children to be exposed to poetry and creative writing at a young age. The poetry reading gives these students a chance to perform original writings they have been working on for a larger audience.
“It’s a remarkable event for both my students and their students from the schools," Robinson says. "Most of the participants will be reading poetry at a microphone for the first time, many have spent the last six weeks writing poetry for the first time. Giving Voice is great opportunity for our participants to be heard, and it’s truly a benefit to the community and to our student body to hear a variety of voices from seven years old to our oldest adult participant.”
The event is free and open to the public.