For over thirty years, the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University has aimed to bring poetry to everyday lives by fostering meaningful conversations and engaging diverse audiences around the world, empowering individuals to share their voice across divisions of language, age, and culture. The list below contains the current calls, contests, scholarships, and surveys for which we are currently accepting submissions.

Maj Ragain (1940-2018) was a beloved creative writing professor and mentor. In memory of his many years serving the Kent community, his family has established the Maj Ragain Poetry Scholarship. Each year, under the leadership of the Wick Poetry Center, a committee comprised of Kent State creative writing faculty and Wick Poetry Center staff will award 1 Kent State student (undergraduate or graduate) the Maj Ragain Poetry Scholarship. This $1,000 scholarship will support the student leading community poetry workshops and organizing a yearly poetry reading at Last Exit Books. 

GUIDELINES

  1. All Kent State University undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least part-time and in good standing at the university are eligible to apply. 
  2. Submit 5 pages of original poetry and a two-page essay answer the question: “What is the value of poetry to a community?”
  3. Do not include your name or any other identifying information in your submission, including the file name. The scholarship award is judged blindly. Any identifying information will disqualify the scholarship application.
  4. In the cover letter section, include all of your current contact information.
  5. By applying, applicants confirm that they are available to lead TEN one-hour writing workshops in the Kent community (time, date, location TBD) between Fall 2019 and Spring 2020. Applicants confirm that they are also available to organize a poetry reading at Last Exit Books in the spring of 2020. 
  6. Applications close on April 1.
  7. Scholarship winner will be notified in the summer of 2019

The Wick Poetry Center seeks poetry and short prose (1500 words or less) submissions that engages with the Cuyahoga River. 

From the Mohawk, the name Cuyahoga means "crooked river.” From the Seneca, “place of the jawbone.” 

The Cuyahoga River is a circulatory system in our region and the larger body politic of Northeast Ohio. The river, like all waters in cultural stories and myths, has the capacity to heal. The river sustained us in the past and prompted the development of our cities, and in recognition of this legacy the Wick Poetry Center is creating River Stanzas: A Collective Dreaming of the Cuyahoga through Poetry, Art, and Design. We ask writers to investigate and give voice to the many ways the river sustains us creatively and teaches us about our connection to the environment and our community.

The crisis for our river achieved critical mass on June 22, 1969 when the Cuyahoga caught fire. The photographs (immortalized by a Time magazine cover) ignited the hearts and minds of people around the country. The river became a symbol for the environmental movement, and the crisis offered the country an opportunity to examine public environmental policies and our communities’ relationships with our planet. 

In June 2019 our community will celebrate the 50th anniversary of our river’s rebirth. From crisis, we now have the opportunity to celebrate the success through poetry, art, and design, showcase our community’s vibrancy—its riverbanks and bike trails, its hiking paths and streetscapes, and rise to the challenge of conveying what we’ve learned to the stewards of the next generation. 

Accepted submissions may be designed into posters that may be exhibited in public settings and temporary installations, used in an interactive digital station at the new Cuyahoga Valley National Park visitors center, included in an online gallery, or collected into a anothology for publication. 

While the Wick Poetry Center will continue to collect poetry and prose through the summer of 2019, submissions must be received by April 15th, 2019 to be included in educational exhibits and conversations about the 50th anniversary of the 1969 fire. 

http://travelingstanzas.com/

A total of $3,000 in scholarships will be awarded for the best poetry submitted by Kent State University undergraduates.
1st Place - $1,500

2nd Place - $1,000

3rd Place - $500

  • These awards are nonrenewable. Undergraduates may reapply.
  • The competition is open to any undergraduate currently enrolled at Kent State University.
  • The scholarship awards are to Kent State University only. 
  • All entries must be original and unpublished.
  • Each entrant may submit one poem only.
  • The poem should be no more than 100 lines long.
  • The poet’s name should not appear on the poem. 
  • In the cover letter section of this form, poets must write their name, address, email and telephone number.  
  • Entries must be submitted between December 1, 2018, and April 1, 2019. 
  • WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED BY MAY 1, 2019.


$1,000 in scholarships will be awarded for the best poetry submitted by  Kent State University Honors students. Winners will be chosen in collaboration with the Wick Poetry Center.
 

  • These awards are nonrenewable. Undergraduates may reapply.
  • The competition is open to any Honors undergraduate currently enrolled at Kent State University.
  • The scholarship awards are to Kent State University only. 
  • All entries must be original and unpublished.
  • Each entrant may submit one poem only.
  • The poem should be no more than 100 lines long.
  • The poet’s name should not appear on the poem. 
  • In the cover letter section of this form, poets must write their name, address, email and telephone number.  
  • Entries must be submitted between December 1, 2018, and April 1, 2019. 
  • WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED BY MAY 1, 2019.

Additionally, the regional honors literary and artsmagazine Brainchild will consider publishing the winning poem in the following year's edition.  

This prize is offered annually to a poet who has not previously published a full-length collection of poems. The prize awards the winner with $2,500 and publication of his or her first full-length book of poetry by the Kent State University Press. The winner and the competition's judge will give a reading together on the Kent State campus. The 2018 winner was The Many Names for Mother by Julia Dasbach, selected by Ellen Bass; the 2019 winner will be selected by Natalie Diaz.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

  • The competition is open to poets writing in English who have not yet published a full-length collection of poems (a volume of 50 or more pages published in an edition of 500 or more copies).
  • There is a $25 reading fee. 
  • Submissions must consist of 50 to 70 pages of poetry, with no more than one poem included on a page. 
  • The poet's name or identifying information is not to appear on the manuscript. Include just one title page with the title only. List all other contact information in the "cover letter" box of the submissions manager. Entries are judged anonymously. If any identifying information is found in the manuscript, including journal publication information or identifying dedications or notes, the manuscript will be disqualified.
  • Do not include an acknowledgements page. If an acknowledgements page is included in the manuscript, the manuscript will be disqualified. 
  • The manuscript may be submitted simultaneously to other publishers, but the poet must notify the Wick Poetry Center immediately if the manuscript is accepted for publication elsewhere.
  • Manuscripts must be submitted between February 1, 2019, and May 1, 2019.
  • A winner will be announced in late summer, 2019.
Ends on July 31, 2019$95.00 - 380.00
$95.00 - 380.00



Wick Juniors Summer Camp:
July 31 – August 4, 2019

For writers entering grades 3 through 12.
Registration fee:     $190.00

The Wick Juniors Summer Camp is offered in partnership with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Students entering grades 3 through 12 will experience one day with the Wick Poetry Center teachers at Kent State University followed by a three-night, four-day stay at the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Through guided hikes, pond dips, and more, the young writers will explore how the natural world influences our writing. A culminating reading will follow at the Wick Poetry Center’s Poetry Park. The registration fee covers all expenses, including meals and lodging during the days spent at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Additionally, the young writers will receive a bag, notebook, and pencils.

Spaces are limited.

A full camp itinerary is forthcoming this Spring. If you have any questions or concerns please email: wickjuniors@kent.edu

Wick Poetry Center