In cooperation with the Kent State University Press, the Wick Poetry Center sponsors an annual poetry chapbook competition for Ohio writers, a National Teen Writing contest, as well as the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize. The winning manuscripts are published by the Kent State University Press, and the winners give a public reading of their work on campus.

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.

The Maggie Anderson Endowment Fund aims to assist talented writing students at Kent State University with writing-related travel expenses. Funds may be used to offset the costs of writers’ conferences, workshops, and readings, as well as to establish exchange programs with other organizations.


  • You must be a current Kent State University student
  • You must not have received a Maggie Anderson Endowment scholarship in the past
  • Submissions must include 10 pages (or poems) of a creative writing sample
  • Submissions must include a separate cover letter explaining why and how a scholarship would assist you and your writing-related travel.

The application period for the scholarship is between July 1 and October 1 of each year. A selection committee will review all applications and make a recommendation for funding to David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center. 

Maggie Anderson, poet, professor emerita of English, and the founding director of the Wick Poetry Center, created the fund after her retirement from Kent State University in 2009. This legacy gift speaks to the powerful role that travel can play in a writer’s life and honors Anderson’s profound contribution to poetry. Anderson herself has traveled to several states and countries in the name of poetry and boasts an award-winning catalog of work distinctly shaped by those experiences.

If you have any questions, please contact Györgyi Mihályi-Jewell at

Wick Poetry Center