Wick Poetry Series holds first reading Wednesday

Ryan Knight

Although it’s football season, the Wick Poetry Series will kick off next week with hopes of scoring big on a different stage.

Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Levine and 2004 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize winner Anele Rubin will read poetry together at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Kiva.

David Hassler, program and outreach director, said the first reading of the year is important because it introduces this year’s reading series to the university and community.

“Our first reading of the year is not always the First Book Award winner and that year’s judge,” Hassler said. “We consider our First Book Award reading, regardless of when it is scheduled, to be the most important reading of the year because it is our most prestigious award and involves a poet judge of high national regard.”

The Wick Poetry Prize, also known as the First Book Competition, is offered annually to a poet who has not had a full-length collection of poems published. This year will mark the 12th year for the prize.

Trying to Speak by Anele Rubin won the 2004 competition, judged by Philip Levine, said Wick assistant Jessica Jewell.

“The winning volume is published by the Kent State University Press,” Jewell said. “The winner gives a reading with the judge of the competition on the Kent State campus.”

Levine has authored more than 16 books. He won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for his work The Simple Truth in 1995.

The emotional range of Rubin’s poems is enormous, Levine said. The poems that appear in Trying to Speak have clarity that can elude the reader.

Carli Cichocki, university and marketing communications assistant, said Levine gained the attention of numerous critics and aficionados for his work in poetry.

Rubin teaches English at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus, and her poetry has appeared in The Midwest Quarterly, Great River Review and other journals, Cichocki said.

“These poets are talented individuals who have worked hard to get where they are,” Cichocki said. “Students could learn a great deal from listening to them and reading about them.”

Beginning Monday and ending Friday, Rubin will hold poetry workshops from 10 a.m. until noon in the Dubois Reading Room in Satterfield Hall. She will also give a Brown Bag discussion at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the Women’s Resource Center.

Contact College of Arts and Sciences reporter Ryan Knight at [email protected].


2005-2006 Wick Poetry Series

  • Philip Levine and Anele Rubin, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Kiva
  • Celebrating Our Own: Wick Poetry Scholarship Winners, 4 p.m. Oct. 11, 112 A/B Satterfield Hall
  • Edwidge Danticat, Oct. 17 at the South Ballroom of Martin Center University of Akron Campus and Oct. 19 at the Lakewood Public Library
  • Maxine Scates, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17, room 306 of the Student Center
  • Maureen Passmore and Joanne Lehman, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16, room 306 of the Student Center
  • Kevin Prufer and Joy Katz, 7:30 p.m. March 21, room 306 of the Student Center
  • Giving Voice: A Reading by Students From Area Schools, 7:30 p.m. April 26, University Auditorium