It’s a simple premise—people gather together to sit in a circle, read poetry aloud to each other, and talk about the poems, all with the accompaniment of a seasoned poet. For many years, New Jersey educators have been doing just that: each spring, small groups of school teachers, librarians, counselors and administrators, along with experienced Dodge Poets, have gathered at schools, libraries, museums, and other venues around the state to take part in this program. And while it is straightforward, Spring & Fountain is an example of how, sometimes, the simplest actions have the deepest effects.
Spring & Fountain participants use poetry to flex their imaginations, open their creative channels, practice deep listening, and cultivate mindfulness. They also use this time to relax and simply enjoy poetry, without analyzing it to death or applying a judgmental right-or-wrong attitude towards it. With this approach, poetry becomes a self-care tool, a path towards empathy and connection.
This spring, we are expanding the reach of Spring & Fountain to people who can’t join the traditional in-person groups. Spring & Fountain Online will bring a week of daily e-mails to educators around the country. The e-mails will include:
- A “Giving Voice” packet of 20+ poems
- Daily activities and exercises aimed to help participants incorporate poetry into their lives
- Videos from the Dodge Poetry Festival archive
We encourage participants to make the program your own; we will send the e-mails and suggestions, but it’s completely up to you to decide how you wish to use the tools.
The program is free and open to all educational professionals who work at an accredited institution. Registration is open from April 14-21st, and the program will run from April 24- 30th. Visit this page to register starting April 14th.
If you have any questions or require assistance, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy National Poetry Month!