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A Gathering of Poets

May 4 Resources, Poetry

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“Politics and poetry do not often mix, but this book is a uniquely successful blending of social rage and literary art….A significant, well-edited collection of historical and literary value, this book will help readers come to terms with Vietnam….”—Library Journal

More than 300 poets from around the nation gathered at Kent State University in May 1990 to remember the four students slain and nine others wounded by the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970, and the two students shot 10 days later at Jackson State College in Mississippi. A Gathering of Poets presents 147 of their poems, some written especially for the commemoration and published here for the first time, and others selected because of their historical resonance.

Royalties from this book will be contributed to the scholarship fund of the Center for Peaceful Change at Kent State University and the Gibbs-Green Memorial Scholarship Fund at Jackson State University.


Maggie Anderson is professor of English emerita at Kent State University. She is the former director of the Wick Poetry Center and founding editor of the Wick Poetry Series of the Kent State University Press. She is the author of Windfall: New and Selected Poems, Cold Comfort, and A Space Filled with Moving and is coeditor of two anthologies, After the Bell: Contemporary American Prose about School and Learning By Heart: Contemporary American Poetry about School.

Alex Gildzen is a poet, mail artist, and blogger who is best known for his autobiography Alex in Movieland. An experiment in list poems, the work has been appearing for years in installments.

Raymond A. Craig is Professor of English and Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences, Kent State University.