October 29, 2018 (New York, New York)— Leaders from more than 20 of our nation’s most influential poetry organizations will gather in Kent, Ohio, on November 2 to 4, to learn about the Wick Poetry Center and how its innovative public poetry programs impact the community, as well as the ways in which the center will help commemorate the 50th anniversary of the shooting on the Kent State campus in 1970 that took the lives of four students protesting the Vietnam War. 
The organizations are part of a Poetry Coalition that is working to increase the visibility of the art form and demonstrate its unique ability to spark dialogue and encourage empathy. 
Attending are executive and senior staff from the Academy of American Poets, the founder of National Poetry Month and administrative leader of the coalition; the National Student Poets program; Beyond Baroque; Canto Mundo, which serves Latinx poets; Cave Canem, which serves African American poets; the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, the largest in the nation; Kundiman, which serves Asian American poets; Letras Latinas at Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies, which serves Latinx poets; Mass Poetry; O, Miami; the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine; the Poetry Society of America; Poets House; Split This Rock poetry festival in Washington, D.C.; the University of Arizona Poetry Center; Urban Word and the Youth Poet Laureate program; the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State; Woodland Pattern, the largest literary center in Wisconsin, and Youth Speaks, which produces Brave New Voices. 
“We are thrilled to host our colleagues in the Poetry Coalition and to introduce them to the vibrant home for poetry at the Wick Poetry Center and throughout our community. From our own history at Kent State University, we know the value of poetry in encouraging diverse voices around the subjects of peace and reconciliation, and we look forward to participating in the Coalition’s plans to advance these goals,” said David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center.
“Thanks to the Wick Poetry Center for hosting the Poetry Coalition this coming weekend. Having an opportunity to see their work, to bring poetry to the public in new and innovative ways, will inspire us as we think about our own programs,” said Jennifer Benka, executive director of the Academy of American Poets, which coordinates the work of the coalition. 
While in Kent, the Poetry Coalition will be planning for a series of programs in March 2019 that will address a socially relevant theme. Last March, the coalition piloted programming on the theme “Where My Dreaming and My Loving Live: Poetry and the Body” and reached more than 250,000 individuals in 11 cities with poetry readings, panel discussions, writing workshops, publications of poems, and social media-based projects. 
The Poetry Coalition’s work is supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation to the Academy of American Poets.
About the Poetry Coalition
The Poetry Coalition is a national alliance of organizations dedicated working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds. The Academy of American Poets serves as the administrative and fiscal lead for the Poetry Coalition. The University of Arizona Poetry Center and the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University assist with this work. The full membership list can be found here: www.poets.org/academy-american-poets/poetry-coalition. To learn more about the history of the Poetry Coalition: www.poets.org/academy-american-poets/history-poetry-coalition. For more information about future events and initiatives, email [email protected].
About the Academy of American Poets
The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. The organization produces Poets.org, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; originated and organizes National Poetry Month; publishes the popular Poem-a-Day series and American Poets magazine; creates and distributes Teach This Poem and other award-winning resources for K-12 educators; hosts an annual series of poetry readings and special events; and awards the American Poets Prizes. In addition, the Academy of American Poets coordinates a national Poetry Coalition working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds.