Celebrating the Cuyahoga River through poetry and design with works that appear on concrete when wet

How do we connect to the Cuyahoga River? The flowing water touches our emotions, our communities, our environment and our history. In this 50th anniversary year of the last Cuyahoga River fire, the Concrete Poetry project invites us to reconsider and reconnect to the river and its legacy. The 1969 fire occurred at a pivotal time and helped spark the environmental movement leading to protective legislation and the sustainability movement today.

Kent State’s Office of Sustainability convened partners to create the designs. The poems are from the Wick Poetry Center’s Cuyahoga River Stanzas. The designs are from Aoife Mooney and Sanda Katila’s typography students in the School of Visual Communication and Design. Additional designs share facts about the watershed. The images that appear on the ground are meant to bring a smile, give us pause or educate.

This project is a collaboration between the Office of Sustainability, the School of Visual Communication and Design and the Wick Poetry Center. Thank you to TechStyleLab for providing the stencils for the concrete designs. Designs are installed through the Kent State University Campus and downtown Kent, Ohio. Check back as more designs are installed.


Environmental Legislation Timeline

Typeset by Aoife Mooney, assistant professor Visual Communication Design; Information compiled by Office of Sustainability. View Honor pdf

Today I am the River Design near bike racks

Image above shows "Today I am the River" stanza by Emma, 4th grade student at Walls Elementary; Typeset by Kaylee Polena, VCD typography student; located near Bowman Hall at Kent State University

Concrete Poetry Opening Reception: Taylor Hall VCD Gallery March 7, 4-7 p.m.
An Exhibition of Student Work from Sections of Intro to Typography, Spring 2019

Exhibition on display from March 7-21 during Taylor Hall VCD Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m.-5 p. m.

An exhibition of student work from the School of Visual Communication Design's sections of Intro to Typography Spring 2019 classes. This show is a result of the collaboration between the School of Visual Communication Design, Wick Poetry Center and the Office of Sustainability. It is a celebration of Earth Month at Kent State and aims to promote awareness of the 50th anniversary of the burning of the Cuyahoga River. 

POSTED: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 12:00 AM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 04:18 PM