The Wick Poetry Center is settling into their new home and reaching out to students and the community in the historical May Prentice house that was renovated and moved to the Esplanade. TV2’s Lauren Blue has the story.
Poetry has a new home at Kent State. The Wick Poetry Center has grown from what was originally a poetry scholarship into one of the only university backed poetry centers in the country. The new space was the former home of May Prentice which was relocated from Willow Street and renovated in a 1.07 million dollar project. Jessica Jewell, the program manager for the Wick Poetry Center, has seen an increase in interest since the move.
“Now students can come here they can enjoy the park they can go upstairs to our poetry loft. We also have creative writing classes in our house now which we weren’t able to do before,” Jewell said.
The Wick Poetry Center feels that the new space located right along the esplanade gives them the opportunity to hold events and classes that they could not hold in their old space. One of these new projects is a partnership between the center and Akron Public Schools to increase literacy. Kent State students will teach poetry to Akron students in grades 3 – 12 in the new space. Nicole Robinson,the outreach manager at the center, coordinated the project.
“Having them visit the classroom ignites and wakes up the students in Akron Public Schools and they get to have this new relationship with literature and poetry,” Robinson said.
The Wick Poetry Center continues to award over $30,000 in scholarships to Kent State. The new space allows The Wick Poetry Center to be a more visible part of the Kent Community. David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center, feels the new space helps them continue to bring poetry to everyone.
“Poetry is meant to become a part of our everyday lives and poetry can be appreciated by everyone of all ages…I feel the Wick Center and our outreach projects have developed a method to pull these voices out of people of all ages,” Hassler said.