Ilya Kaminsky headlines last poetry reading of semester

Keisha Burley

The Wick Poetry Center held its last poetry reading of the semester, headlined by Russian-born poet Ilya Kaminsky, in room 306 of the Student Center Thursday night.

Kaminsky read his own poems, starting with “Dancing in Odessa” and ending with a Q&A with the audience.

Kaminsky explained how he left Odessa for the U.S. in 1993, where he continued writing his poetry.

“Everyone here is very friendly,” he said. “I hope you all realize how lucky you are. What we have here is passion.”

Kaminsky explained his poetry has nothing to do with his present life, rather his poems were written over a series of years, at which time he was transitioning “between Russia and Massachusetts.”

David Hassler, the Wick Poetry Center director, said he was excited to have Kaminsky speak in the poetry series.

“This is a great opportunity to bring important voices – both nationally and internationally – to Kent,” Hassler said. “The series shows students and the community new possibilities. Tonight’s reading truly exemplifies that.”

Regarding Kaminsky’s poetry reading tonight, Hassler said, Kaminsky “reads poetry in a… traditional Russian way, merging spoken voice with singing voice.”

Seth Murray, a junior English major, said he enjoyed how the Wick Poetry Center handled the poetry series and is “constantly impressed with how generous these poets are with their time.”

Contact Keisha Burley at [email protected]