Kent State's Wick Poetry Center to Expand Traveling Stanzas Project With $125,000 in New Funding From Knight Foundation

The Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University will expand its successful Traveling Stanzas project with $125,000 in new funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge.

The Knight Arts Challenge funds ideas that engage and enrich Akron through the arts. 
Traveling Stanzas: Writing Across Borders is a partnership between the Wick Poetry Center and the Visual Communication Design program at Kent State to facilitate a global conversation through the intimate and inclusive voice of poetry. 

The grant will help the center offer poetry workshops in collaboration with the International Institute of Akron and Akron Public Schools to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to share their literary pieces. Participants will be able to submit a short video of an original or published poem in their own language, accompanied by a commentary stating the piece’s personal significance. 

“Using the newest digital technology to connect us to one of our oldest technologies – the written word – Traveling Stanzas: Writing Across Borders will celebrate the diverse, cultural identity of Northeast Ohio and engage in a citywide dialogue through the intimate and inclusive voice of poetry,” said David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State. "The Wick Poetry Center is thrilled to have the opportunity to lead writing workshops and share the voices of refugee and immigrant children and families in Akron, as well as those of other Akron Public School children.”

"Poetry is a living, breathing force that can light up a city," said Victoria Rogers, vice president for arts at Knight Foundation. "The Traveling Stanzas project is its platform. We're excited about how the Wick Poetry Center's project helps art become part of people's everyday lives." 

Submissions will be paired with graphic designs to be showcased on Akron buses, outdoor kiosks in North Hill and other public places to decorate the city of Akron, according to Jessica Jewell, assistant director of the Wick Poetry Center. 

The center will then take these pieces and create a digital exhibit featuring large touchscreen displays where users can browse poems in at least five languages, share poems with others and submit their own or favorite.

For more information about the Wick Poetry Center, visit

For more information about the Traveling Stanzas Project, visit

To see the full list of Knight Arts Challenge winners, visit

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more information, visit

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Media Contacts:
Jessica Jewell,, 330-672-2067
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 10:22 AM
Updated: Sunday, January 29, 2023 04:00 AM
Victoria Manenti