Wick Poetry collaborates with professors, Center for Earth Ethics for Earth Stanzas project


David Hassler is the director of the Wick Poetry Center.

Kaitlyn Finchler Reporter

The university launched numerous projects and efforts for Earth Month to get the community involved. David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center, collaborated with the Center for Earth Ethics at Columbia University and others at Kent State to launch an Earth Month poetry project

“Earth Stanzas is a collaborative project that we launched last year for the 50th commemoration of Earth Day,” Hassler said. “For Earth Stanzas we curated, with the Center for Earth Ethics, eight beautiful different model poems.” 

Those interested in viewing the poems or posting their own can go to the website, view poems and reflect and share their own voice with prompts related to each of the eight poems. 

In order to make it appealing to the Kent State community, Hassler conducted a series of writing workshops in classes. 

“[We used] the platform of Earth Stanzas and sharing several of the model poems and prompts with students and then ask[ed] them to share their voice,” Hassler said. “In real time, by going through the process and clicking submit, we then can share the screen of the gallery page and have a class discussion about the submissions.” 

Lauren Kinsman-Costello, assistant professor of biological sciences, started on the project with her graduate students, specifically in a focus of healing stanzas. 

“They’re all interested in environmental issues so using the Earth Month stanzas felt like a really productive prompt to use in our class, and I participated along with the rest of the class,” Kinsman-Costello said.  

Kinsman-Costello said she sees this continuing in her classes. 

“Through the experience … we talked about how cool it would be to create opportunities for people in the sciences, to create poetry that relates to what they research,” Kinsman-Costello said. 

Hassler said there’s a meaningful connection to poetry that he’s excited to spread with this project. 

“The way in which poetry can inspire a meaningful conversation with people from all disciplines and backgrounds, bringing poetry into classrooms that are not intentionally language arts classrooms, but actually science classes, sociology classes, history classes and education classes,” Hassler said. “You know, poetry is uniquely suited to be a tool to provoke and inspire different and, more often, more meaningful conversations in these different subjects.”

Kaitlyn Finchler covers administration and enrollment. Contact her at [email protected]