Reading Series 2021/22
Reading Series 2021/22
Every Friday: Wick Weekly Poetry Writing Workshops
Every Friday, 1:00 p.m. | Wick Poetry Center (in May Prentice House)
Join the Wick Poetry Center student workers and interns for a free workshop each week. Wick Weekly invites Kent State students and community members to engage in informal writing prompts and activities. No prior writing experience is required.
CELEBRATING OUR OWN & OPEN MIC
Date: Tuesday, October 5, 7:30 p.m. | Wick Poetry Corner in the University Library, 2nd floor
This event will spotlight the 2021 Wick Poetry Center scholarship winners. Each winner will have the opportunity to share their work. An open mic, in which anyone is welcome to read, will follow. Come celebrate poetry with us by sharing your poems and discovering the new voices around you.
Big Read Kickoff Celebrating Joy Harjo’s An American Sunrise featuring Kimberlee Medicine Horn Jackson and Cynthia Connolly
Tuesday, October 12, 7:00 p.m. | Kiva Auditorium
Kimberlee Medicine Horn Jackson
Kimberlee Medicine Horn Jackson, MFA, MA is from the Ihanktonwan Nation (Yankton Sioux) in South Dakota. Her work has been published in The North Dakota Quarterly, The Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, and Thought, 10th Anniversary Retrospective, Common Threads for the Ohio Poetry Association, and Digital Commons @ Kent State University Libraries. Indigenous Peoples Student Project: Documenting Story Telling through Photographs and Videos/Poems. digitalcommons.kent.edu among others. She is adjunct faculty with Kent State Geauga Burton Campus (on break this semester for full-time research with a national organization focused on Native American Boarding Schools). She is Adjunct faculty for NAIITS: An Indigenous Learning Community where she is also an editor for the Journal of NAIITS: An Indigenous Learning Community. She is in first year study for her PhD. with the University of Divinity in Australia.
Cynthia Connolly is a citizen of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians located in Northern Michigan, and is the Director of Programming at The City Club of Cleveland, the nation's oldest continuously running free speech forum. Prior to this, she spent six years at Policy Matters Ohio and four years at Ohio City Incorporated. Cynthia also teaches the Native American Studies course at Kent State University’s Department of Africana Studies. Cynthia earned her Master of Public Administration from Cleveland State University; and received a Bachelor of Arts in American Culture with a focus in Native American Studies from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. Cynthia also serves on the board for the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy in Washington, DC; is the Vice President of University Settlement in Cleveland's Slavic Village neighborhood; and serves on the executive board of the Lake Erie Native American Council in Cleveland. Cynthia received the 2019 Distinguished Young Woman Award from the YWCA of Greater Cleveland; named the 2018 Rising Activist from Greater Cleveland Community Shares; and is a 2016 Cleveland Top 25 Under 35 Movers & Shakers awardee.
Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize Reading Featuring Richard Blanco and Ellene Glenn Moore
Thursday, October 28, 7:30 p.m. | Room 120, CAED (College of Architecture & Environmental Design)
Selected by President Obama as the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history, Richard Blanco is the first Latino, immigrant and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity characterizes his four collections of poetry: How To Love a Country, City of a Hundred Fires, which received the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press; Directions to The Beach of the Dead, recipient of the Beyond Margins Award from the PEN American Center; and Looking for The Gulf Motel, recipient of the Paterson Poetry Prize and the Thom Gunn Award. He has also authored the memoirs For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey and The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood, winner of a Lambda Literary Award. His inaugural poem “One Today” was published as a children’s book, in collaboration with renowned illustrator Dav Pilkey. Boundaries, a collaboration with photographer Jacob Hessler, challenges the physical and psychological dividing lines that shadow the United States. And his latest book of poems, How to Love a Country, both interrogates the American narrative, past and present, and celebrates the still unkept promise of its ideals. Blanco has written occasional poems for the re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Cuba, Freedom to Marry, the Tech Awards of Silicon Valley, and the Boston Strong benefit concert following the Boston Marathon bombings. He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and has received numerous honorary doctorates. He has taught at Georgetown University, American University, and Wesleyan University. He serves as the first Education Ambassador for The Academy of American Poets.
Ellene Glenn Moore
Ellene Glenn Moore is a writer living in Philadelphia. She is the author of How Blood Works (Kent State University Press, 2021), selected by Richard Blanco for the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize. Ellene earned her MFA in Poetry from Florida International University and her BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. She has been the recipient of a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fellowship in Poetry, a scholarship to the New York State Summer Writers Institute, and a residency at The Studios of Key West. Ellene’s poetry, lyric non-fiction, and critical work has appeared in Lake Effect, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Best New Poets, Fjords Review, Poetry Northwest, Brevity, Salamander, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. Her chapbook The Dark Edge of the Bluff (Green Writers Press, 2017) was runner-up for The Hopper Prize for Young Poets.
Afrofuturism Workshop with Isaiah Hunt
Friday, November 5, 2:00 p.m. | Wick Poetry Center (in May Prentice House)
Afrofuturism blends Black culture and sci-fi themes into one beautiful genre. It has been seen in the works of recent hit movies Get Out and Black Panther, and the popular TV show Lovecraft Country. But where did Afrofuturism begin? How does it differ from science fiction? Isaiah Hunt from Literary Cleveland will traverse the history of Afrofuturism and challenge our perception of sci-fi in a new way. From dark dystopias to black utopias, we’ll explore authors such as W.E.B. Dubois, Octavia Butler, Sun Ra and other black sci-fi writers who’ve taken their stories to the stars and introduced the idea that the future is in color.
World Poetry Reading
Tuesday, November 16, 7:30 p.m. | Room 120, CAED (College of Architecture & Environmental Design)
Kent State international students, staff and faculty members from different countries will share poems they love from their own cultures facilitating a global conversation through the intimate and inclusive voice of poetry.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park Poetry Reading
Thursday, February 10, 7:00 p.m. | Rockwell Auditorium (2nd Floor in School of Fashion, Rockwell Hall)
Over the past year, local poets have been working to assemble a "Poetic Inventory" of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Each poet selected a species found in the park and wrote a poem toward the creature. Join us as we highlight their work in this reading. Learn more about the Poetic Inventory here.
Poetry Reading Featuring Joy Harjo | NEA Big Read
Thursday, March 17, 7 p.m. | Ballroom, Kent Student Center
Kent State University is pleased to collaborate with the Massillon Museum to present parallel NEA Big Read projects. We encourage you to participate in programs offered by both institutions and their community partners. For more information, please visit library.kent.edu/neabigread. NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.
In 2019, Joy Harjo was appointed the 23rd United States Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold the position and only the second person to serve three terms in the role. Harjo’s nine books of poetry include An American Sunrise, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, and She Had Some Horses. She is also the author of two memoirs, Crazy Brave and Poet Warrior, which invites us to travel along the heartaches, losses, and humble realizations of her “poet-warrior” road. She has edited several anthologies of Native American writing including When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through — A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry, and Living Nations, Living Words, the companion anthology to her signature poet laureate project. Her many writing awards include the 2019 Jackson Prize from the Poetry Society of America, the Ruth Lilly Prize from the Poetry Foundation, the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Board of Directors Chair of the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, and holds a Tulsa Artist Fellowship. A renowned musician, Harjo performs with her saxophone nationally and internationally; her most recent album is I Pray For My Enemies. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Poetry & Disability Justice
Thursday, April 7, 7:00 p.m. | Rockwell Auditorium (2nd Floor in School of Fashion, Rockwell Hall)
Tuesday, May 3, 6:00 p.m. | Ballroom, Kent Student Center
Giving Voice features local students (grades 3-12). All material is created in Wick outreach programs, including workshops led by Kent State University undergraduates enrolled in the service-learning course “Teaching Poetry in the Schools.”