International students share poetry from their native countries

Danielle Hess

Kent State international students read poems representative of their countries Thursday night at the World Poetry Reading.

The open-to-the-public event, presented by the Wick Poetry Center and the Office of Global Communication, was held in room 306 of the Student Center. Readings began at 7:30 p.m. and were followed by a reception with food and refreshments.

Jessica Jewell, Wick Poetry Center program director, said the event was the center’s first on-campus international poetry reading.

“International students are getting a chance to show who they are, and that’s really exciting,” Jewell said.

Fourteen students read poems by their favorite poets from their home countries. Each student read an English verqsion of their poem and the original version in their native language.

Shen Wen Tan is a sophomore studying to teach English as a second language. Wen Tan is from Malaysia and read a poem called “Cleansing Fire,” by A. Samad Said, a Malaysian poet.

“If I were to read this poem in Malaysia, I’d probably be put in jail because it’s so controversial,” Wen Tan said.

Samantha Gale, junior anthropology major, said she went to the event to hear her friends recite poetry.

“It was really nice to hear them read in their native languages, “ Gale said.

Contact Danielle Hess at [email protected].