OHIO — The Kent State Wick Poetry Center aimed to bring the world together online through the Global Vaccine Poem to share thoughts and experiences during the pandemic. Now a similar poem initiative is aiming to support Ukraine.
The poem initiative is titled “Dear Ukraine.”
Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach wrote the model poem for Dear Ukraine.
“To be connected through art, through a lyric moment that is able to capture emotion that is able to capture something that seems to go beyond words,” Dasbach said when describing what this poem means to her.
Kolchinsky Dasbach has teamed up with David Hassler and the Kent State Wick Poetry Center to help with the blueprint for the online global community poem.
“We like this notion that we can all participate in the joy and meaning making of poetry,” Hassler said. “There are no barriers for anyone to participate.”
Anyone can log onto DearUkrainepoem.com and read the responses, or they can use a prompt and write their own public response.
“Then you have the option of choosing what language to read it in,” Hassler said. “If I pick a box, and want to read someone's contribution, and I only read Russian, and they submitted it in English, I click Russian and it uses Google Translate to translate it into Russian, or Polish or Ukrainian or the original, so when I click original it tells us what language it was submitted it.”
Kennedy Gotham is a student at Kent and is excited to take part in this project by submitting her own Dear Ukraine poem.
“I have friends, and family friends who are Ukrainian, so I wanted to be able to share my opinions with them and share my poetry with them,” Gotham said. “I wanted them to know that I was there for them.”
Dasbach hopes for these poems to reach the people in Ukraine who are suffering.
“It’s really powerful for me to have it in both of those languages and then to be able to have it in Ukrainian, which is just so powerful," Dasbach said.
Hassler encourages everyone who can to donate to the Kent State Ukrainian scholar support fund through the Dear Ukraine Poem website.