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Traveling Stanzas in TEDx Talk – Akron

Posted Nov. 13, 2013

David Hassler, director of the WICK Poetry Center at Kent State University, spoke of the power of poetry and the Traveling Stanzas project at the Akron, Ohio TEDx talk on November 1, 2013 at the University of Akron's Student Union Theater.

The independently organized event, licensed by TED,  featured talks on the topic of Forever Young.  TED Talks have become famous for sparking new ideas and problem-solving discussions. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED created a program called TEDx. TEDx events combine TED Talks and live speakers to initiate deep conversation.

From the Akron Beacon Journal, reporter Jim Carney wrote, "David Hassler, director of the WICK Poetry Center at Kent State University, spoke of the power of poetry and the 'a-ha' moments, or the 'womp' moments when one comes to understand the meaning and beauty of a poem.

“That leap of thought is like a spark,” said Hassler, 49, a native of Kent. “It is like if you rub two sticks together, you can rub two words together in a new way. ... You make new meaning with that spark.”

Hassler spoke of a program called Traveling Stanzas in which graphically designed poems are put on area public transit. And he read a poem a second-grade girl from Lima, Ohio, wrote when he was doing a poetry residence there.

“We were making new words for spring and putting them on the chalkboard,” he said.

The girl wrote this poem:

I’m going tulip crazy in this lilac city,

Dandelion faces smiling all around me.

I’m going daisy crazy in this mud delicious world.


“We will never be too old for poetry,” Hassler said.