Speak a Powerful Magic: Ten Years of the Traveling Stanzas Poetry Project
Foreword by Naomi Shihab Nye

Speak a Powerful Magic Wick amazonThis beautiful and moving book, featuring a representative collection of Traveling Stanzas poetry illustrations, celebrates the tenth anniversary of this award-winning community arts project. Launched in 2009 as a collaboration between Kent State University’s Wick Poetry Center and Professor Valora Renicker’s visual communication design students, Traveling Stanzas pairs poems with striking graphic designs. The resulting images, in both print and digital forms, have been featured in galleries, in community spaces, in interactive media, and on regional and national mass transit. Speak a Powerful Magic features poems by schoolchildren, immigrants and refugees, patients and caregivers, and veterans, alongside the work of well-known contemporary American poets, and it demonstrates that poetry is truly of the people. We turn to poetry to give voice to what is troubling us, to honor what we love, to make sense of our lives, to remember our past, and to commemorate what we’ve lost. Here, it becomes clear that poetry, especially when coupled with the visual arts, has the potential to broaden our understanding and bring people together in ways that more traditional communications simply cannot.

While the eye is drawn to the colors, lines, and images of these graphic representations, we are rewarded with far deeper meanings by reading the poetry gathered in this book. Speak a Powerful Magic demonstrates that there is a place for poetry even among those who think they have no interest in it, that there is space for conversation beyond our normal divisions, and that our human responses are more common than not.

Chautauqua Institution is proud to partner with the Wick Poetry Center in bringing poetry to everyday lives. Speak a Powerful Magic includes two poems created in workshops with the Wick Poetry Center staff in Chautauqua County Schools. The Wick Poetry Center’s work, methodologies and proprietary technology are featured in Chautauqua’s Poetry Makerspace, open to all during the summer assembly season, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. and 2–5 p.m. on weekdays in Hultquist Center First Floor (under the awning).

About the Wick Poetry Center
The Wick Poetry Center encourages new voices by promoting opportunities for individuals and communities locally, regionally, and nationally. Wick engages emerging and established poets and poetry audiences through readings, publications, workshops, and scholarship opportunities. Founded in 1984, the Center was established by Robert Wick, a sculptor and former art department faculty member at Kent State University, and his brother, Walter Wick, in memory of their sons Stan (1962–1980) and Tom (1956–1973). 


CLSC Young Readers and Book Launch: "Speak a Powerful Magic"

SonyCharles MaloneWednesday, July 24, 12:30 p.m.
Alumni Hall Ballroom

Teaching artists Charles Malone (Wick Poetry Center) and Sony Ton-Aime (Chautauqua Literary Arts graduate fellow) will share selections from the Speak A Powerful Magic poetry anthology, as well as writing prompts that inspired some of the poems in the book. Attendees will engage in these same writing exercises and leave speaking powerful magic of their own! Speak a Powerful Magic includes poems created by Chautauqua County school students from Jamestown and Clymer schools.

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CHQ Literary Arts Lecture: "The Role of the Poet," Shara McCallum

SharaMcCallum thumbnailWednesday, July 24, 7 p.m.
Hultquist 101

Chautauqua Literary Arts Lecture:"The Role of the Poet," Shara McCallum poet-in-residence. The lecture will be followed by a reception to celebrate Speak a Powerful Magic, the new poetry anthology from Kent State University featuring poetry created by Chautauqua County high school students from Jamestown and Clymer schools.

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Poems created by Chautauqua County students

FindingthePoemintheWorld KSUPress

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