Another element of the
Esplanade, the walkway from the Kent State University campus to the downtown area, has been revealed, and it sounds like a fine addition to a college town.
The Wick Poetry Center, now housed in Satterfield Hall, is planning to move to a new home -- the May Prentice house, a historic structure that was reprieved by KSU when the area for the Esplanade was cleared. The onetime home of Kent State's first woman faculty member will be relocated along the Esplanade and transformed into a center for poetry. Next to it will be an outdoor poetry park and amphitheater that will be used as a gathering place for university and community events.
The Wick Poetry Center provides programs for Kent State students as well as a variety of outreach activities that promote poetry in the schools and the community. It has outgrown its present location, and having a permanent home of its own will enable it to expand its campus programming and enhance its connection to the Kent community. Plans for the new location include a digital community classroom as well as a permanent display in the outdoor park to showcase poetry and graphic design.
The Esplanade, which will symbolically and literally connect the campus with the community, will be an important addition to a revitalized Kent. It is expected to be complete later this year, and the poetry center's goal is to be able to open in its new location in October. A fund-raising campaign for the project is under way.
Having the Wick Poetry Center on this gateway to Kent State will highlight one of the Esplanade's functions, as an easily accessible place for creative activity. The park area will be able to used for arts events, music, dance and, of course, celebrating poetry.
A community that celebrates poetry and values those who voice it is a community that honors knowledge and learning. Having a place for poetry in such a visible location says a great deal about Kent.