Martin Farawell, Program Director, Poetry
Poetry readings have always been at the heart of the Dodge Poetry Festival. This year, the Festival officially opens with a Thursday Evening Poetry Sampler on October 7, which offers the opportunity to hear nearly half of the poets who will be appearing over the next three days.
The Main-Stage Readings, which bring the Festival community together under one roof at the close of each day, have been one of the most popular events at every Dodge Poetry Festival. This year they are taking place in the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s beautiful and acoustically splendid Prudential Hall.
If you can’t make the Main-Stage readings, don’t worry. There will be Festival Poet Readings during the day at venues throughout the Festival Village. Visit our Poet Spotlight to see exactly when all the Festival Poets are reading.
In addition to the readings that make up the core of the Festival program, there are a number of special readings. We wrote in last week’s blog about Galway Kinnell’s reading of Rilke’s Duino Elegies in their entirety on Saturday morning, October 9. Some other special events are listed below:
POETRY AND MUSIC: AN EXPLORATION
In this combination reading, discussion and musical performance on Saturday, poet and music scholar Amiri Baraka will be joined by word-music ensemble Blue Ark to explore the many interconnections between poetry and music—connections that vibrantly link spoken word, jazz, the blues and the ancient griot tradition.
GIVING VOICE TO A LIFE IN POETRY
Join Galway Kinnell on Sunday, October 10, in this informal reading/conversation and discover some of the poets who have influenced one of our most influential poets. Kinnell will read and discuss poems that first drew him to poetry, as well as works by teachers and mentors who shaped his sense of what poetry might be and by friends and peers from a lifetime dedicated to this art.
GIVING VOICE TO NICOLÁS GUILLÉN, FREDERICO GARCÍA LORCA AND PABLO NERUDA
On Sunday afternoon, Poets Martín Espada and Nancy Morejón are joined by Latin jazz musicians Bobby Sanabria and Quarteto Aché in this bilingual celebration of just a few of the many Spanish-speaking poets from the last century who have had an international influence on contemporary poetry.
GIVING VOICE TO LUCILLE CLIFTON
In this special tribute from the Main-Stage at NJPAC’s Prudential Hall, friends and fellow poets will read from the works of Lucille Clifton on Sunday afternoon. The author of twelve collections of poems, Clifton appeared at eleven Dodge Poetry Festivals and became, for many, the embodiment of the spirit of the Festival itself.
If you haven’t purchased your Festival tickets yet, keep in mind that all events this year are taking place in performance venues that, unlike open-sided tents, have fixed seating capacities. If you want to guarantee a seat for the evening events, you should purchase your tickets in advance.
Pictured above: Sharon Olds at the 2008 Festival. Photograph by T. Charles Erickson.