Poetry reading to spotlight 2016 Wick Poetry Prize winner

Cameron Gorman

A poetry reading featuring the evocative, imagery-rich work of the 2016 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize winner will be held Sept. 19. 

Baltimore-born poet Christine Gosnay, the winner of the Wick Poetry Center’s poetry contest, will read at the 7:30 p.m. event in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

“… ‘I lay a stain on a clean note.’ Like, that — that first stanza alone is, like, what caught my attention, and that is basically her writing style,” said Doris Shonobi, a junior English major and student worker, reading from a poem.

“You know, it’s so simple, but like, the objects that she uses and the and the words that she uses put it all together — it just tells a story, in my opinion.”

The Wick Poetry Center awards the prize to a poet who has not yet published a full-length poetry collection.

Angie Estes, an award-winning author of five poetry books, selected Gosnay as the winner.

“The Wick Poetry Center was actually started as a scholarship program by Robert Wick and his brother,” said Sony Ton-Aime, a graduate fellow.

“They started the program in honor of their sons who died seven years apart on the same day in car accidents, and they started giving the scholarship to students for creative writing and English majors at Kent State — and then it turned into something more than that.”

The prize included the publication of Gosnay’s first book of poems, “Even Years,” through the Kent State University Press, as well as $2,500.

“We’ll have a package with the best poems — we send it to the … English faculty, then they can share with their students,” Ton-Aime said. “So I will have to be the one to look at the poems and choose which ones we are going to put in the package and proofread through everything.”

The event will include a workshop with Kent State students, a reading by Gosnay from her new book and a reading by Estes.

“It’s really interesting what she does with language, though,” said Emma Fabbro, a senior English major and student worker.

“A lot of it really catches you off guard because she … doesn’t use, like, this fantastic, highbrow language. But the way that she uses it and the way that she talks about objects, it gives you this sort of, like, spine-tingling feeling.”

Cameron Gorman is the humanities reporter. Contact her at [email protected].