Writing Across Borders
Teaching artists from the Wick Poetry Center are engaging refugee and immigrant populations in a cross-cultural, intergenerational conversation through poetry and graphic design.
With the support of a major grant from the Knight Foundation, the center has partnered with Urban Vision, the International Institute of Akron and Project Learn to host poetry writing workshops with refugee and immigrant populations locally and abroad, as well as at Kent and Akron Public Schools—encouraging people to share their voices across the divisions of language, age and culture. [See an example.]
Participants then read their poems and tell their stories through video interviews on the Traveling Stanzas website. The project has expanded to include a traveling interactive exhibit, Traveling Stanzas: Writing Across Borders, which features poems, illustrations and videos to showcase refugee resettlement in our communities, says David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center. At the heart of the exhibit, an interactive touchscreen experience allows visitors to browse digital content and contribute to the community dialogue.
The Wick Poetry Center partnered with Kent State students and alumni from the School of Visual Communication Design and local design studio Each + Every to create a modular exhibit design that can adapt to unique environments.
After the exhibit launches in Akron, Ohio, at Summit Artspace (January 19 through February 17, 2018), it will begin a national tour that includes the Chautauqua Institution and other locations. With each new venue, the exhibit will unite communities around important topics and facilitate a civic dialogue through the intimate and inclusive voice of poetry.
If you’re interested in bringing Traveling Stanzas: Writing Across Borders to your community, please contact the Wick Poetry Center at travelingstanzas.com.