Wick Poetry Center Recognized for its Tribute to 50th Anniversary of the Cuyahoga River Burning
Kent State University's Wick Poetry Center Director David Hassler was featured on 90.3 WCPN ideastream for his creative efforts in organizing the River Stanzas Project. The project pays tribute to the 50 year anniversary of the environmental protections and improvements that have taken place since the Cuyahoga River Burning in 1969.
The River Stanza project, created by the Wick Poetry Center, combines both “river walks and talks with community members of all ages to encourage expressive writing and express their relationship with the river,” Mr. Hassler told the station.
The project will include the work of local community members and artists, along with children who are part of the Wick Juniors Writing Club Summer Camp.
Last summer, children who participated in the Wick Juniors Writing Club Summer Camp were taken on guided hikes through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to the Cuyahoga River. The students sat down in front of the river and wrote poems in recognition of the positive environmental changes that have taken place since the river burning.
“Even though kids didn’t live through the river burning 50 years ago, they understand the environmental significance,” Program and Outreach Manager of the Wick Poetry Center Charles Malone said. “I start telling them, ‘This is going to be your river longer than it will be mine. What do you want it to be?’ And that often generates some really emotional writing.”
The Wick Poetry Center officials encourage anyone, local or not, to submit poetry online to be part of the River Stanza project. The plan is to share this work in exhibits at the national park and in communities along the river this summer.
To listen to the entire 90.3 WCPN ideastream clip featuring Mr. Hassler, visit http://radio.wosu.org/post/artists-spotlight-environment-2019-50th-anniversary-cuyahoga-river-fire#stream/0