University, community celebrates the opening of the Wick Poetry Center’s new home


Award-winning poet Mark Doty gives a brief introduction before reciting poems as part of the 30th anniversary celebration of the Wick Poetry Center Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014 in the Kiva.

Alyssa Schmitt

President Beverly Warren said she had the honor of recognizing the force of good the Wick Poetry Center has had on the university and Kent community at the official opening of the May Prentice House as the home of the Wick Poetry Center on Friday.

“It’s this true love of the arts that we are here to celebrate today,” Kent State President Beverly Warren said. “It’s the love of the arts that lift the human spirit. It’s the love of the arts that really brings about diverse perspectives in such a rich and informing way.”

The Wick Poetry Center is also celebrating its 30-year anniversary as a place that encourages poetry in everyone’s life.

“This is a historic day,” said David Hassler, the director of the Wick Poetry Center. “For the past 30 years, we have been encouraging new voices, bringing poetry to people’s everyday lives and creating opportunities to bridge the town and the university.”

James Blank, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, continued to emphasize the importance the center has on the students and the community.

“This site is not only a gateway to the campus but also to …engage learning of the students of Kent State and across our community,” Blank said.

Robert Wick, co-founder of the Wick Poetry Center, expressed his gratitude to all that helped the center get to where it is today.

“Wick Poetry has had a blessing of marvelous leadership,” Wick said. “Nowhere else in America, or at any other university, could this have come into creation that it has here.”

Many members of the audience applauded when Warren asked if there was anyone from the community that had been affected by the Wick Poetry Center.

“This center is a haven for voices both young and old, both accomplished and inspiring,” Warren said. “For people who don’t believe of themselves as poets but have a voice they want to share.”

Contact Alyssa Schmitt at [email protected].