Reading Room offers a relaxing getaway

Kelly Tunney

Tucked in a corner of Satterfield Hall is the Wick Poetry Center’s Reading Room, a space dedicated to peace and relaxation.

The walls are painted with pale yellow, lighted with dim lamps placed on coffee tables. Striped green and red couches sit across from a wall of bookshelves. A TV, DVD player and VHS player rest in a corner, waiting to display live readings of past poets at the center.

Nicole Robinson, outreach coordinator for the Wick Poetry Center, said the soft decorating of the room discourages students from feeling intimidated or nervous when they want to study for a test or just have some quiet time.

“Students can come in here where the pressure of fluorescent lights and noise is not there,” she said. “As a matter of fact, on Friday a graduate student had his thesis defense in here. This is such a peaceful place for a thesis defense.”

Established in 1999 in memory of Stan and Tom Wick by former Director Maggie Anderson, the room was officially dedicated so that it cannot be changed into anything else, said David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center.

“It’s a formally established space in Satterfield that will always remain an open reading room, no matter what happens politically,” he said.

Hassler said students and faculty come to the reading room because it is a convenient place to meet, relax, study or even nap.

“I think the most important thing about this room is that it’s a very convivial meeting place, a place of rest,” he said. “A place of pause for people to come read by themselves, close the door and lie down on a couch, or sit and think and write or read.”

Some unique parts of the room include paintings of Tom and Stan Wick’s artwork, as well as a boom box and a table in the center that holds candy dishes and Lipton Tea bags.

Behind the TV hangs a hand-made book titled “Touched by Flame.” The book is a collection of poems dedicated to Stan and Tom Wick by many local authors as well as friends. The pages are made of pigmented flax from Ohio tall grass, and the cover is a red paper made of bark from mulberry trees.

Natasha Rodriguez, intern at the Wick Center and Spanish major, said she uses the room because it is a comfortable place, as well as a good resource for students.

“It’s inspiring and it’s a way to relax,” she said. “Usually there’s someone in here, and if you are interested in an internship, you can come in and talk to somebody, or at the very least hang out.”

The room is available to more than English majors and faculty members, however. Hassler said any student is able to study, relax or rest inside.

“You don’t have to show any badge or say, ‘I’m an English major,’” he said. “You don’t have to hold your palm up to the door. It’s open to anybody, even in the Kent community.”

Contact Kelly Tunney at [email protected].