Reading Series 2021/22

Reading Series 2021/22


Wick Weekly
Every Friday: Wick Weekly Poetry Writing Workshops

Every Friday, 1:00 p.m. | Wick Poetry Center (in May Prentice House) Starting January 28

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. 

Wick Weekly follows the Kent State University Academic Calendar, and will not take place on days when the University is closed.

There will be no Wick Weekly on the following dates:

March 25

April 1

Celebrating Our Own banner

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 Event banner

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. 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
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.

Register here

First book reading with richard blanco and ellene glenn moore

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)

Richard Blanco
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 banner

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.

CVNP Reading

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Poetry Reading

Thursday, February 10, 7:00 p.m. | LOCATION CHANGE: Room 120, CAED (College of Architecture & Environmental Design)

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.

Big Read Joy Harjo banner

Q&A with joy Harjo | NEA Big Read

Thursday, March 17, 1:30 p.m. | Garden Room, Kent State Library

We request that guests wear masks.

Join us for a Q&A with U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo before her reading in the evening. Free and open to all.

Poetry Reading Featuring Joy Harjo | NEA Big Read

Thursday, March 17, 7 p.m. | Ballroom, Kent Student Center

Livestream this event here:

We request that guests wear masks.

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 NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. 

Joy Harjo
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.

Flying Words Project

OPEN Window: Poetry & Disability Justice

Thursday, April 7, 7:00 p.m. | LOCATION CHANGE: Room 177 (Auditorium), Schwartz Center 

We are hosting a performance by the Flying Words Project that is an American Sign Language (ASL) poetry troupe comprised of Deaf Poet Peter Cook and hearing coauthor Kenny Lerner. The goal of Flying Words is probably the same as all other poets, to play with language.  As luck would have it, ASL is a language of moving pictures. So Kenny and Peter juxtapose imagery you can see in creating their work. The pieces are first written in ASL. When a poem is completed, Peter and Kenny try to figure out how the hell to voice it!  In other words, how to express just enough words and sounds so that hearing members in the audience can see the images for themselves.  Together they create a moving tapestry uniquely accessible to both hearing and Deaf audiences.  

The event is open and free to all. Registration is required with the link below.

REGISTER NOW (limit 150 people) or watch the presentation on Zoom Register for Online Viewing

We request that all audience members wear a mask.

If you'd like to attend the workshop on April 8th from 11-2 pm, please email Limit: 20 people.

Contribute to the Open Window community poem in English or ASL:


For registration and more information, please visit:

Giving Voice

Giving Voice

Tuesday, May 3, 6:30 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.”

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