Reading Series 2023/24
Reading Series 2023/24 - Events and Programs
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.
Wick Weekly follows Kent State University's Academic Calendar, and will not occur on days when the University is closed: October 6th (Fall Break), November 10th (Veteran's Day), and November 24th (Thanksgiving Break).
MAKERSPACE AT THE ART IN THE PARK FESTIVAL
Saturday: 10-6, Sunday: 11-5, September 9-10 | Fred Fuller Park (497 Middlebury Rd. Kent, OH)
The Wick Poetry Center launches its annual programming year with an exciting kickoff event this weekend at City of Kent's Art in the Park. The Poetry Makerspace in the Fred Fuller Park will feature a talented team of poets who will introduce and demonstrate an array of engaging interactive poetry tools, designed to captivate and inspire visitors of all ages and skill levels.
DEDICATION OF THE MAJ RAGAIN POETRY PARK
Thursday, September 14, 5 pm | Maj Ragain Poetry Park (126 S Lincoln St, Kent, OH)
We invite all members of our community to join us for the dedication of the Maj Ragain Poetry Park on Thursday, September 14. Family, friends, and students of Maj will share stories of Maj and his decades-long impact on the people and poetry of Kent.
REgister for the Dedication
OPEN READING HONORING MAJ RAGAIN
Friday, September 15, 7-9 pm | Last Exit Books and Coffeehouse
On Maj's birthday, this informal open reading at Last Exit Books and Coffeehouse in downtown Kent welcomes and encourages everyone to read poems by, inspired by, or dedicated to, the city’s beloved poet. No registration required.
INTERACTIVE EXHIBIT HONORING THE "NOW AND FOREVER WINDOWS" PROJECT
Saturday, September 23 | Washington National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016)
All are invited to join in-person or online on September 23 at 11 am for the unveiling and dedication of the Now and Forever Windows at the Washington National Cathedral, where the Wick Poetry Center will facilitate a community writing exercise centered on the themes of racial justice, inclusive storytelling, and spirituality. The event will feature remarks from visual artist Kerry James Marshall and a special reading by poet Elizabeth Alexander, whose poem reflects the themes in the new stained-glass windows. Following the dedication, the celebration continues with an open house featuring music, food trucks, and other festivities.
WHAT WE LEARNED WHILE ALONE
Monday, October 2, 5:00 pm | Murphy Auditorium, 2nd floor at the Kent State University Museum (515 Hilltop Dr, Kent, OH)
What We Learned While Alone focuses on the emotional toll of the pandemic and will help audience members process and make sense of what we’ve lost personally and collectively, while celebrating what we praise and hope for the future. Based on the anthology Dear Vaccine: Global Voices Speak to the Pandemic published by The Kent State University Press, the performance combines spoken word, music, movement, and digital dialogue to create an innovative interactive experience, culminating in a poem created with performers and audience.
MAPPING AKRON CELEBRATION
Thursday, October 26, 6:30 pm | Summit Art Space (140 E Market St, Akron, OH 44308)
Over the last two years, we have worked with the Akron community on our Mapping Akron initiative. Everyone, from the libraries and community leaders to the schools and art galleries has been welcoming and enthusiastic. It is now time for us to showcase the amazing writers who have shared their ideas about home, place, and belonging. The event will include opportunities to interact with and contribute to the project as well as a reading from our participants.
CELEBRATING OUR OWN & OPEN MIC
Wednesday, November 8, 7:00 pm | Wick Poetry Corner in the University Library, 2nd floor
This event will spotlight the 2023 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.
POETRY MAKERSPACE AT THE 2023 NCTE CONVENTION
Thursday-Sunday, November 16-19 | Greater Columbus Convention Center (400 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215)
POETRY READING FEATURING KIM BLAESER
Wednesday, March 6, 7:00 pm | Murphy Auditorium, 2nd floor in Rockwell Hall (515 Hilltop Dr, Kent, OH)
Kimberly Blaeser, past Wisconsin Poet Laureate, is the author of five poetry collections including Copper Yearning, Apprenticed to Justice, and Résister en dansant/Ikwe-niimi: Dancing Resistance. Blaeser edited Traces in Blood, Bone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry and authored the monograph Gerald Vizenor: Writing in the Oral Tradition. A Professor at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and MFA faculty for Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, Blaeser is also founding director of In-Na-Po—Indigenous Nations Poets. She lives in rural Wisconsin; and, for portions of each year, in a water-access cabin near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota.
WORLD POETRY READING
Thursday, March 21, 7:00 pm | 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.
STAN AND TOM WICK POETRY PRIZE READING FEATURING CORNELIUS EADY AND ARLENE KEIZER
Wednesday, April 10, 7:00 pm | African Community Theatre, Oscar Ritchie Hall (225 Terrace Drive, Kent, Ohio 44242)
Cornelius Eady is the author of several books of poetry, including the critically acclaimed Hardheaded Weather, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award, Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, winner of the 1985 Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets, The Gathering of My Name, which was nominated for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize, and his most recent collection The War Against the Obvious. With poet Toi Derricote, Eady is cofounder of Cave Canem, a national organization for African American poetry and poets. He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Literature, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to Bellagio, Italy, and The Prairie Schooner Strousse Award. Eady has been a teacher for over twenty years, and is currently the Chair of Excellence in the English Department at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.
Arlene Keizer, an Afro-Caribbean-American poet and scholar, writes about the literature, lived experience, theory, and visual art of the African Diaspora. The recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, she later earned an MA in English and Creative Writing (Poetry) at Stanford University and a PhD at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Black Subjects: Identity Formation in the Contemporary Narrative of Slavery, and her poems and articles have appeared in African American Review, American Literature, Kenyon Review, PMLA, Radical Teacher, TriQuarterly, and other journals and exhibit catalogues. New poems are forthcoming in Obsidian: Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora. Arlene completed Fraternal Light: On Painting While Black with the support of fellowships from the Beinecke Library at Yale and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, where she has been reading Beauford Delaney's mail. Born to emigrants from Trinidad, she lives in Brooklyn, NY and teaches at Pratt Institute.
Tuesday, April 30, 6:30 pm | Murphy Auditorium, 2nd floor in Rockwell Hall (515 Hilltop Dr, Kent, OH)
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.”