Wick Poetry Center Uses the Power of Poetry to Share Experiences During the Pandemic

Born from inside Kent State University’s Wick Poetry Center, “Dear Vaccine” gives citizens a chance to process the pandemic through poetry.

The poetry center collaborated with the University of Arizona to expand on poet Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “Dear Vaccine.” The poem became a catalyst for respondents around the world to share their own poems.

PBS NewsHour recently featured Nye and the work of “Dear Vaccine.” The poems cover respondents’ thoughts about the COVID-19 vaccine and how the pandemic has affected their lives. 

“I thought of it instantly as, ‘this will be a chorus of community voices welcoming the next phase,’” Nye told PBS NewsHour. “I think everybody was wistful and lonely for many voices mixed together at that point.”

The book titled “Dear Vaccine: Global Voices Speak to the Pandemic'' received over 2,300 submissions from people of all ages and locations. Respondents ranged from high school students at Kent State to women in Saudi Arabia to Kent State University President Todd Diacon.

Printed by Kent State University Press, the book is set to release this month in honor of National Poetry Month with receptions held at Kent State to celebrate.

To learn more about “Dear Vaccine,” visit www.globalvaccinepoem.com/.

To watch the PBS segment on “Dear Vaccine”, visit  www.pbs.org/newshour/show/citizen-poets-share-details-of-their-pandemic-lives-in-dear-vaccine.

To learn more about the Wick Poetry Center, visit www.kent.edu/wick.

POSTED: Thursday, April 28, 2022 10:34 AM
UPDATED: Friday, December 09, 2022 05:38 PM
Madeleine Majikas