Financial aid fair hosts Wick Poetry Center

Heather Bing

Students can earn money for tuition by putting their thoughts into words and turning their words into poems.

The Wick Poetry Center, located in room 301 of Satterfield Hall, offers a way to help pay for school with annual scholarship competitions. The center is holding an information table at the Financial Aid and Scholarship Fair in the Kent Student Center Ballroom today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jessica Jewell, a Wick Center assistant, will help distribute applications for the upcoming scholarship competitions and answer questions about the competitions at the booth.

The center hopes to spread recognition of the scholarship program.

“Because the people that will be at the Financial Aid Fair will probably be undergrads or students getting ready to start their time at the academy, it’s a good opportunity for us to tell them about Wick and the scholarships that we offer through the center,” she said.

The upcoming scholarship competitions include the Undergraduate Poetry Competition, due by Feb. 1, and the First Book Competition, due between Feb. 1 and May 1.

The competitions allow students to use poetry as an outlet.

“At the Wick Poetry Center we think that it is more than just important, we think that it’s vital,” Jewell said. “We want our students and local community to come to our events and share the imaginative life with us.”

Joyce Norr, Wick Poetry administrative assistant, sees hundreds of entrants in the center’s poetry scholarship competitions each year and believes more talent is waiting to emerge.

“So many people are ‘closet poets,'” she said. “I am just awe-struck by what comes out of the people – the talent.”

Each year the Wick Poetry Center hosts readings by regionally, nationally and internationally acclaimed poets. It also sponsors readings by the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize winner and judge. In spring, the center sponsors the “Giving Voice” reading which features students in grades three through 12 from local schools who perform original poems and songs.

“Any of the poets, they’re just awe-inspiring,” she said. “From the young child in the schools to the undergraduate and senior citizen.”

Rachel Woods, senior biology major, won fourth place in the undergraduate competition last spring and recommended that all students participate in the contest regardless of their major.

“Anybody can write poetry if they sincerely want to,” she said.

Woods had always been interested in poetry but had never entered the competition before because she was afraid her poetry wouldn’t match up to the other writers’ work.

“I knew a scholarship was involved, but it wasn’t my main motivation,” she said.

She read the poems that won the previous year to get an idea of what types of poems were selected and finally decided to enter.

“I wanted to get my work out there and see if people would appreciate it,” she said.

Woods won a $500 scholarship and has been spreading the word about the Wick Poetry Center and the poetry competition since.

“The Wick Poetry Center gave me a greater sense of what poetry is,” she said. “There’s no set poem that wins, and that’s what I like about it.”

The poems that win demonstrate the poets’ talents but also find a way to involve the audience, she said. The reader should feel what the poet is feeling, and if a poem can do that, it should be entered.

“I pull the feelings out of me and put them on paper,” Woods said.

The Wick Poetry Center was established in 1984 by Robert and Walter Wick in memory of their sons. The endowed scholarships are offered each year in three different categories which include high school seniors planning to attend Kent State, high school seniors entering the Honors College at Kent State and undergraduate students at Kent State in any major.

For more information, visit http://dept.kent.edu/wick.

Contact College of Arts and Sciences reporter Heather Bing at [email protected]