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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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Final LGBTQ+ Center Poetry Workshop celebrates queer experiences

Courtesy of Meghan Schwind
The university’s LGBTQ+ Center is located in room 024 on the lower level of the Kent State Student Center.

The Wick Poetry Center and the LGBTQ+ Center concluded its one-hour informal creative writing workshop series Friday. This was the last of the three workshops happening this month.

The workshops aimed to explore themes such as gender, coming out and empowerment by the LGBTQ+ community.

Victoria Troche, a partner with the Wick Poetry Center, led the last workshop. She explained the partnership with the LGBTQ+ Center to expand the power writing can have. 

“[We want] to bring people together after this, help them grow with their writing and their identity,” Troche said. 

Supported by a presentation, Troche guided the workshop through model poems, discussion questions and writing activities. One of the highlights was a video titled “Queer Youth Are Five Times More Likely to Die by Suicide” by Andrea Gibson.

“[The poem kept] connecting back to moments in life,” one of the attendants shared after watching the poetry performance. “It makes it real, tangible […] helps to ground you, to speak out more.”

Participants shared their answers to questions such as “What emotions did you receive from the model poems?” and “How do you perceive the writer/speaker delivering the message effectively?” Attendants also shared their personal experiences and relation to poems. 

The second part of the workshop focused on the activity, and Troche offered her help to assist participants individually in their writing.  

Participants were prompted to write about a time they felt unsafe, their emotions and how they reacted.

“Poetry is activism,” said Caitie Young, a creative writing graduate student who led the first workshop and helped with the series’ organization. “Workshops like this can be empowering for a community that often faces discrimination.”

Similar events promoted by the LGBTQ+ Center, such as “Friendsgiving” and “Advocacy Training” can be found in details on the center’s “Gay Agenda.” For poetry writing support, the Wick Poetry Center can be contacted at 330-672-2067 or [email protected]

For other forms of support, the center office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located in room 024 in the Student Center. Contact the center via email at [email protected] or by phone at (330) 672-8580.

Sofia Giotti-Teixeria is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

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