This year, Kent State University’s Wick Poetry Center used their Traveling Stanzas to create the “River Stanzas.” It was and continues to be a project that celebrates the improvement since the Cuyahoga River’s burning that happened 50 years ago and the hopes for the river’s future.
Charlie Malone, Wick Poetry’s program and outreach manager discusses river stanzas, the river, national parks and more below.
Currently Wick Poetry is helping get kids out in the National Parks through the “Every Kid Outdoors” program.
While some of the kids knew about the river fires, some did not fully understand how impactful those fires were to the Cuyahoga.
The kids a part of this project received prompts that used their senses to think about poetry and the river differently.
He also thinks that art and poetry are great ways to help people feel connected to the river and sometimes a little less threatening than coming at them from an “activist” perspective:
Malone grew up in the northeast Ohio area and remembers understanding the river’s history.
Currently, Wick Poetry has greatly been focused on the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and getting more kids and their families out to it.
Luckily both the kids and teachers have been receptive to the entire program.
While Wick Poetry will be focusing on the 50th anniversary Kent State’s May 4 shootings this school year, Malone still hopes they can keep this river poetry going.
For more information about river stanzas and how to get involved: https://travelingstanzas.com/educators/river-stanzas