In January of 1990 a group of seven Kent poets sent out a nationwide call for poets to gather on the Kent State University campus for the 20th anniversary commemoration of May 4, 1970. The organizers stated their belief that "the presence of our nation's poets at this sad commemoration is crucial because of the remembering and healing that poetry performs" and expressing their "wish to remind the nation of the important link between poetry and political involvement in these times."
From May 3 through May 6, 1990, more than 300 writers from across the country gathered to read their own work and the work of others who though they could not make the trip to Kent, sent poems to be read on their behalf.
In 1992, the Kent State University Press published A Gathering of Poets.
The organizers of the Gathering have donated to the May 4 Collection the papers documenting their work. An inventory is available.
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