Wick Poetry Center co-founder dies at 85

Walter Wick

Walter Wick

Benjamin VanHoose

Walter Wick, a driving force of Kent State’s Wick Poetry Center, passed away Christmas morning in his Arizona home. Wick, 85, was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Wick, along with his brother Robert Wick, founded the Wick Poetry Center in 1984 to foster an appreciation for poetry on a local and national level.

Today, the department hosts readings and provides scholarship opportunities to students.

“In my life this great soul is passed but his reverberation will ripple throughout all those who have known him,” Robert Wick said in a press release.

The Wick Poetry Center made its move from Satterfield Hall on the university’s main campus to its current location in the May Prentice House near the Esplanade in 2014. The space around the center is called Poetry Park.

Kent State awarded Walter and Robert Wick the University Medallion in 2009 for the center’s contributions to campus.

Also known for its Traveling Stanzas project, the Wick Poetry Center’s outreach program places Kent State students enrolled in the “Teaching Poetry in the Schools” Department of English course into local classrooms to engage youth in poetry studies.

Outside of poetry, Wick was also heavily involved with newspapers and literature. Services are expected to be held later this week.

Benjamin VanHoose is the features editor of the Kent Stater, contact him at [email protected]