Florida Philanthropic Network 2018 Annual Summit

Miami, FL


The Wick Poetry Center was thrilled to join the Florida Philanthropic Network at their Statewide Summit on Philanthropy. We were especially honored to have had the opportunity to facilitate a poetry activity using the conference participants’ driven voices to create a collective poem on their passion and drive for philanthropy.

It was an honor to present with Daranee Petsod, president of Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, and share poems from our Traveling Stanzas: Writing Across Borders exhibit and to engage conference participants in making their own Emerge poems from texts that spoke to the themes of the conference.



Thread Stanzas


Emerge Poems


Community Poem

The Florida Philanthropic Network's community poem, pieced together from dozens of attendees' personal driven statements, being read by FPN members and volunteer leaders Dr. Steven Marcus, Patty Maddox, Randy Russell, Daniel Gibson and Jennifer Kryshka

“What Drives Me” 

Scripted by David Hassler, Director of the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University, from conference participants’ writing generated from a reflective writing activity.

Hands smoothing the edges of a rough day
The moment between looking back and looking forward
between preparation and lessons learned

That’s what drives me—can’t you see?
Flying down the hill of my hometown street,
hair out, heart on fire

My daughter is the engine, my husband, the fuel

The young student in my ESL class
fresh from Mexico, smart and ambitious,
sleeping on the couch of his single mom’s apartment

My grandfather who had eight children
but walked the picket line
because some work feeds character
when bellies are hungry—
some blessings are beyond counting 

This gift passed down from grandmother
to daughter, to granddaughter
to care for others

The force of my family history,
honoring the generations who came before

The 8th grade teacher who saw the potential
in a deeply troubled girl and said,
“You will make the world a better place”

Feeling the arrow to the heart
when someone else is hurting

The zipping sound of an email
The ripping of pages as I finish another task 

What propels me?
What moves me forward?

A simple kindness that
     changes a life
The smile of gratitude
     as a new door opens

To help 
one more child,
one more getting healthy,
getting happy, getting direction, 
one more who helps others…
one more 

The light in a child’s eyes
when wonder leaps in unannounced

The galaxy of each person’s capacity

Knowing that nourishment grows from the dirt,
that hope grows like a weed,
like a sapling, lean and eager,
striving toward the sun

The scent of my mother’s handkerchief
The years gone, it’s still there
The smell of my Haitian mother’s soup
joumou on New Year’s Day

The sweet juice of a Florida peach

Memories of kickball as a kid,
a safe childhood in subsidized housing

Imagining how my children will describe their memories,
dolphins catching the wake, wild and free
expansive green space that creates life,
toes sinking in the sand

Being an immigrant in this country
Not forgetting the rough neighborhood I came from
that now is blooming

When the fair, just, logical,
coherent world cracked open
to reveal a crooked, broken place,
I began toseek and work toward something
better for all people.

Our ancestors are owed a debt
Repaid through a life of service

Settling into my true self
Allowing for the spots, the wrinkles, the folds
Letting my heart and head lead.

The tear that unexpectedly formed
when I realized my gratitude was you.

The simplicity in life that we make so complex

Creating a new dimension of philanthropy
in an outburst of compassion,
connection and command 

A compass in my spirit
pointing to a new horizon.

That’s what drives me,
what moves me, 
what seduces me,
what tugs at me,
what propels me forward

Participant Poetry

Participants created their own poems using the Emerge digital application and analog cards. 


Creating Emerge Poems using the iPad application


The Traveling Stanzas Booth in the Biltmore Hotel

stay connected

Listen to the Community Poem created at #2018FPN on the Florida Philanthropic Network’s Facebook Page

Traveling Stanzas community arts projects bring poetry to people’s everyday lives through innovative methods and digital platforms.

All content copyright 2022 Traveling Stanzas
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