aroundkent Magazine Vol 13 2017

Page 45

The Traveling Stanzas Map lets users experience community poetry from near and far. It also helps them navigate to and explore poetry in the environment.

a plastic 3D-printed box fabricated by the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, visitors can also listen to the child or adult read his or her poem. The utility boxes project is also connected to Traveling Stanzas displays around the world. By accessing the Traveling Stanzas Poetry Map website (, users can virtually visit Traveling Stanzas displays wherever they exist, as well as get walking and driving directions to nearby Traveling Stanzas kiosks or installations. This collaborative community arts project contributes to our thriving downtown, and is yet another way that the City of Kent and the University have joined forces to bring art to people’s everyday lives. Currently, with a major, two-year grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Wick Poetry Center is working with Each + Every Design Studio and Kent State College of Communication and Information students to produce Traveling Stanzas: Writing Across Borders. Additionally, student teaching artists from the Wick Poetry Center are engaging the refugee and immigrant populations in

the Akron, Ohio community in a cross-cultural, intergenerational conversation through poetry and graphic design. Working with Project Learn, Urban Vision, and the International Institute of Akron’s (IIA) refugee and immigrant populations, as well as the Akron Public Schools (APS), Wick is offering weekly poetry workshops to encourage people of all ages to share their voice across the divisions of language, age, and culture. A selection of these poems, paired with graphic designs, are currently traveling on Akron Metro and PARTA buses and available as greeting card sets at area businesses. Additionally, a digital, multi-modal traveling exhibit will be created. The exhibit, which will open in Akron at Summit Artspace in January 2018, then tour nationally, will feature large touchscreen displays where users can browse poems and videos, share with others (via email and social media platforms), and submit their own short stanza or poetic lines to an ever-growing digital community poem at each site. Using the newest digital technology to connect

“It reminds us why we fell in love with poetry to begin with, it lights up the darkness of which we have plenty, it brilliantly restores the magic of language and hope and connection.” — NAOMI SHIHAB NYE

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Wick teaching artist Regis Coustillac leads a workshop with refugee and immigrant children and adults.


volume 13 | 2017 •