A Successful 2010 Dodge Poetry Festival!

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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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