Wick Poetry Center hosts live poetry reading

Jason Meek

California poet Lisa Coffman will give a live poetry reading in Kent at Last Exit Books at 124 E. Main St. on Tuesday, March 11 at 7 p.m.

The reading is hosted by the Wick Poetry Center and will feature poems from Coffman’s latest book, “Less Obvious Gods.” It will be open for free to the public.

Lisa Coffman has been involved with the Wick Poetry Center ever since she won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize in 1995. The prize is a prestigious award presented by the Wick Poetry Center to poets nationwide for their first published books.

“Kent has become kind of a center of poetry,” Coffman said. She said both the Wick Poetry Center and the community in Kent have influenced her poetry, including her recent work in “Less Obvious Gods.”

The title “Less Obvious Gods” refers to things Coffman said is “under the radar” but have a major influence on life. The poems are a “series of odes” to important things that are often unnoticed, such as time, pain, or even the bass notes under a song.
    Coffman also said she takes inspiration from the landscape and culture of the places she has lived, including east Tennessee and California.

Maj Ragain, a creative writing professor at Kent State, has helped to organize this poetry reading as well as many others in Kent for the past 31 years. He is also a close friend of Coffman.

“She’s got a musician’s ear for how language works inside of us,” Ragain said. He said that Coffman is attuned to the life and vibrancy in words themselves.

David Hassler, the director of the Wick Poetry Center, said that Coffman is one of many writers who have built a successful career after being involved with the Wick Poetry Center. He said he hopes that the reading at Last Exit Books will help to bring poetry to the community off campus.

“She has a wonderful and spiritual lyric quality to her poems,” said Hassler.

Lisa Coffman’s official website can be accessed at http://www.lisacoffman.com.

Contact Jason Meek at [email protected].