The Wick Poetry Center is now accepting poetry submissions as part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the May 4 shootings. The poems should resonate with the themes of peace, conflict transformation, and student advocacy. We are accepting submissions in three categories: youth, adult student, or adult non-student. Poet, songwriter, and novelist, Naomi Shihab Nye, will select one winner from each category who will receive $500 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Kent State University to read their poems during the May 4 Music and Poetry Event on April 21.
Our current schedule of events for the year-long observance of the 50th commemoration of May 4, 1970 are posted below. Be sure to check this page often and our Facebook page for updates. Please note: Events on this page are subject to change.
The Wick Poetry Center invites people from around the world to contribute a line or stanza to a global community peace poem titled “My Voice.” As Kent State University approaches the 50th anniversary of the May 4 shootings, the themes of the poem will reflect peace, conflict transformation, and advocacy. The Wick Poetry Center will begin accepting submissions on Sept. 15, 2019.
The exhibition Culture/Counterculture looks at fashions of the 1960s and early 1970s with a particular focus on the generation gap during that period. The exhibition is scheduled to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Kent State’s shootings on May 4, 1970. Almost 50 years ago, the shootings of Kent State University students by the Ohio National Guard brought to a head the cultural divides that had split the nation. There was a sharp contrast between supporters of the establishment and those opposed – the culture and the counterculture. These cleavages in society saw their clear expression in the fashions of the time. The exhibition draws from the rich holdings of the university’s historic costume collection, private and institutional lenders including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as archival material from the May 4 collection.
This online social media project will recreate the 1969 – 1970 school year at Kent State University through the voices of Chic Canfora, Tim Moore, Jerry Lewis, Tom Grace, and Laura Davis. Each memory, from the mundane to the profound, will help paint a more personalized picture of the issues the divided campus and the events that brought everyone together. This program is similar to print versions of “look-backs” in history. Currently, the goal is to have at least three posts a week continuing to May 2020.
This exhibition will feature posters, flyers, t-shirts and other items created by the May 4th Task Force, a student-run organization founded in 1975, to raise awareness among students, faculty, administrators and the general public about the Kent State shootings of May 4, 1970.
Many people know Jeffrey Miller from the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph that shows his body on the ground with a 14-year-old runaway screaming over him after the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a group of Kent State University students, killing four, including Miller, and wounding nine others on May 4, 1970. What people may not know is Miller was from Plainview, New York. According to his mom, he had a great sense of humor and liked the Mets, music, math and motorcycles. In 1970, Miller had transferred to Kent State from Michigan State University. He died at the age of 20. Guests of Kent State’s May 4 Visitors Center can learn more about Miller by visiting “Our Brother Jeff,” a new exhibition at the visitors center that honors Miller’s life. The exhibition will be on display from Oct. 19, 2019, to Feb. 29, 2020. Russ Miller, Jeff’s brother, helped create the exhibition by loaning some of Jeff’s personal items to the May 4 Visitors Center.
Mitch Landrieu, the New Orleans mayor who oversaw the removal of the city’s prominent Confederate monuments and helped his city to recover and reemerge from a series of natural disasters, will speak at Kent State as part of the university’s May 4 Speaker Series. Landrieu’s 2017 speech, delivered in conjunction with the removal of the last of the four monuments, continues to earn praise for its honesty in confronting the truth about the past in order to chart a new path forward. In his 2018 New York Times bestselling book that followed, “In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History,” Landrieu recounts his personal journey confronting racism and tackles the broader history of slavery, race relations and institutional inequalities that still plague America. He recently launched the E Pluribus Unum Fund, which will work to bring people together across the South around the issues of race and class.