This summer was the second run of our Lunchtime Poems poetry reading series in Newark’s Military Park. For seven Tuesdays starting in July, poetry filled the air for our audience, as well as for park patrons who may not have anticipated having an interaction with poetry that Tuesday. Whether they were dining al fresco, playing some ping pong or taking a stroll on their lunch hour, many stopped to listen to the voices of poetry groups like the Dodge Poets, Kundiman, CantoMundo, Warrior Writers, Cave Canem and local Newark poets.
It was not uncommon to see a passerby stop in her or his tracks and be moved by the words of a poet. These moments of discovery are what poetry is all about! Dodge Poet and Newark native Marjorie Barnes likened this phenomenon to what sometimes happens when you read to small children: – Even though they may not always appear to be listening, may seem restless or preoccupied with other things, you keep on reading because you know they are still hearing you, and you never know what will touch them or capture their attention. She hoped Dodge Poetry would keep holding poetry readings in the park for the next thirty or forty years.
On behalf of all of us here at Dodge Poetry, we want to extend a big “Thank You” to everyone who helped to make this reading series a success: The Military Park Partnership, The New Jersey Historical Society for providing us with a rain location, and all of the poets who shared their voices with the park – the Dodge Poets, local Newark poets, all of the poets from the poetry organizations CantoMundo, Cave Canem, Kundiman and Warrior Writers. We are lucky to be able to showcase these talented voices.
If you weren’t able to join us for our reading series, you can learn more about all of the poets and organizations that we featured here.
Poets from Kundiman in Military Park – photo from Kundiman’s Facebook page. L-R: Wo Chan, Alison Roh Park, Chen Chen, Sarah Gambito and Amy Meng.
Poets from CantoMundo read in the New Jersey Historical Society on a rainy Tuesday. Clockwise from top left: Deborah Paredez, PaulA Neves, Yesenia Montilla and Urayoán Noel.
Poets of Cave Canem in Military Park, clockwise from top left: Joel Dias-Porter, Naomi Extra, Joel Dias-Porter (x2) and Cortney Lamar Charleston.
Dodge Poets clockwise from right: Michael Cirelli, Christine Salvatore, Robert Carnevale and Marjorie Barnes.
Warrior Writers in Military Park, from L-R: Sarah N. Mess, Joe Nygard, Eli Wright, James Yee, Walt Nygard, Dayl Wise and Jan Barry.