Kent State’s Wick Poetry Center to Benefit From Ford Foundation’s $200,000 Grant to 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: 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.

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

“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,” says 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.

For more information about the Poetry Coalition, visit

For more information about the Wick Poetry Center, visit

POSTED: Thursday, July 13, 2017 01:47 PM
Updated: Friday, July 21, 2017 09:30 AM