A Successful 2010 Dodge Poetry Festival!

Posted on by Dodge

photo in front of NJPAC of the Dodge Poetry Festival

We had an amazing time at the 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, and for those who were able to come, we hope you did too. Who could forget performances by US Poets Laureate Kay Ryan, Rita Dove, Billy Collins and Mark Strand? Or Galway Kinnell reading his translation of Rilke’s Duino Elegies? Who didn’t love the depth of talent and diversity among all of our Festival Poets, and the youthful enthusiasm of 5,000 high school students on Friday? We were thrilled to see people tweeting from the Festival and sharing it with the larger Twitter community. And if you weren’t able to make the Festival, we hope you were able to enjoy the live stream on Thursday and Sunday through our partnership with NJN. We will make the recordings of those events available very soon.

We want to give special thanks to Mayor Booker and the City of Newark and to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, who brought this Festival to its first ever urban location, to a city we love and support through our work at the Dodge Foundation.

Thanks also to our presenting sponsors: the Prudential Foundation, Berkeley College, Fidelity Investments, PSE&G, Bank of America, Chase Bank, New Jersey Monthly, NJ Transit, the Robert Treat Hotel, the Sagner Family Foundation, the Victoria Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Poetry Foundation, as well as to all of our Friends of the Festival.

This Festival couldn’t have happened without the hard work and support of hundreds of people – the fantastic team of NJPAC volunteers and the helpful NJPAC ushers, the City of Newark’s police department, and our Green Team volunteers who helped sort through all of the Festival trash to divert waste from landfills and make this our greenest Festival yet. It was so terrific to see those compost bins fill up! There are too many people to thank by name here, but you should know that we know who you all are, and we are thankful for your contributions to the Festival.

Sharon Olds and Billy Collins at the Poetry Festival

Billy Collins and Sharon Olds, “Conversation on the Life of the Poet” at the First Baptist Peddie Church

Dodge’s commitment to poetry is year-round. Even while we are planning for each Festival, we are also offering our Poetry-in-the-Schools program, which includes the 6-week Clearing the Spring, Tending the Fountain sessions for New Jersey teachers, mini festivals, and poet visits to schools. You can keep up-to-date with Dodge’s Poetry Program a number of ways throughout the year: subscribe to our YouTube channel to see past Festival performances and be the first to see videos of performances from the 2010 Festival, which will be coming soon. Look also to our Facebook fan page for a Festival round-up and the latest updates, and follow us on Twitter for all the latest links to videos, programs, photos and current Poetry Program news.

While it’s still fresh in your mind, we want your feedback: Which poets were your favorites? What did you like best about the Festival? Did you find the Poetry Village in Newark easy to navigate? What about the Festival needs improvement? Leave us a comment here and/or send us an email to poetryprogram@grdodge.org. Also, if you wrote a blog post about the Festival, we would love to read it. Please share your links via Facebook, Twitter, email or as a comment on the blog.

Also, it’s never too early to start planning for the 2012 Festival, and your partnership is vital to making it happen. Please consider becoming a Friend of the Festival.

From the entire staff of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, we thank you for a successful and memorable 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival.

Images courtesy of New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Cohn Dutcher Associates

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8 Responses to A Successful 2010 Dodge Poetry Festival!

  1. LJCohen says:

    My thoughts about Dodge ’10 on my blog. http://ljcbluemuse.blogspot.com/2010/10/dispatches-from-dodge-thoughts-on-10.html

    Thank you so much for Dodge! I cannot imagine my life without words, without the celebration of words, or without Dodge.

  2. Maude Carolan Pych says:

    I enjoyed the festival. Spent the day, Friday. Particularly enjoyed Galway Kinnell’s reading, Friday evening. Also enjoyed the web streaming Thursday and was able to view a portion of the stream on Sunday. Excellent. Found the village easy to navigate and the staff knowledgeable and helpful. Took the free trolley to Ironbound for an extraordinary meal at Seabra’s. Came home and wrote a poem.

  3. S. Jean says:

    Being at the poetry festival was truly an inspiration. As a Newark native, I was delighted that NJPAC was chosen for the venue and I hope that you will return to Newark in 2012.

    I watched the simulcast Thursday evening and spent the day Saturday at the festival. I blogged about my experience at
    http://sweepyjean.wordpress.com

  4. David says:

    It was a real success — great to see the students streaming through the lobbies at the hotel and NJPAC.

    One of the tradeoffs of moving into the city and more formal venues for the readings and discussions was the open-ness and flow of the events themselves. It’s hard to wander in and out of a space with hardwood floors and movable metal chairs. And the FACT of the poetry is still somewhat hidden from the wider world, even with the great church venues, etc.

    I would love to see some use of the outdoor NJPAC space — right in front of the hall, or in Military Park — to truly open up the festival, to regular attendees and the citizens of Newark. Why crow about bringing poetry to the streets and the people, but tuck away everything but concessions in indoor rooms with doors? If we can build Borders a big tent, we can certainly build the poets an open air option.

  5. Beth says:

    A agree with David above. This was a wonderful start for a Newark Dodge Poetry Festival, and I enjoyed in immensely. I would second David’s suggestion to expand an outdoor, open-air option by NJPAC/Military Park, perhaps for Giving Voice, and a poets’ event tent.

    Also, please consider selling General Admission, rather than Reserved Seating evening tickets for the NJPAC evening performances. On Friday evening there were open seats I would have liked to move into for various reasons. (Better open seats, meeting new people or running into old friends and wanting to sit with them, seats opening up as evening progresses, etc.)

    And finally: BRING BACK PAUL WINTER CONSORT! There is PLENTY of room to incorporate Newark musicians AND the Paul Winter Consort; they have been an integral part of the festival since it’s inception. I will expound on this in a future post dedicated to addressing the importance of the Consort’s participation in Dodge.

  6. Gary Szelc says:

    Unfortunately I was away on a business trip the weekend of the Festival, but from everything I’ve read and the people I’ve talked to, it sounds like it was a most wonderful event.
    Let’s keep the poetry flowing and getting more and more people into it.
    Thank you Dodge and everyone connected with the Foundation and the Festival!

  7. Leslie Audes says:

    Attended the festival – enjoyed all events that i attended – one b*t*h though: Why aren’t any of the readings posted on youtube yet?! I’ve been telling people about it – and they’re anxious to see what they missed and i’m anxious to reminisce.

  8. Dodge says:

    Leslie – Thank you for your comment. We took many many hours of footage of the Festival, and it takes awhile to edit it down to clips that we can then upload to YouTube. We are working on it! In the meantime, you can look at the archive of the livestreaming we did of two of the festival events here: http://www.dodgepoetry.org/ (see the middle column).

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