Poetry Friday: Save the Date!

The Board of Trustees and the staff of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation are pleased to announce that the Dodge Poetry Festival, the largest poetry event in North America, will return to Newark October 11th to October 14th, 2012. The fourteenth biennial Festival’s lineup of performances and discussions will again transform New Jersey’s largest and most vibrant city into a “poetry village” for four days.

“We are proud to welcome the Dodge Poetry Festival back to Newark,” said Newark’s Mayor, Cory A. Booker. “The festival attracts visitors and participants from across the globe who will have the opportunity to explore and contribute to the rich cultural diversity of our city. Newark has a long history of producing literary giants like Stephen Crane, Philip Roth and Amiri Baraka, and the festival continues our city’s literary tradition/history.”

The Festival venues will once again be contained within a walkable footprint centered around the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and will include NJPAC’s 2,800-seat Prudential Hall, and its 514-seat Victoria Theater.  More-intimate events will be held nearby in the architectural wonder that is First Peddie Baptist Church; the historic Trinity and Saint Philip’s Cathedral, where both Colonial and British armies established field hospitals during the Revolutionary War; Newark Museum, home to the largest collection of Tibetan Buddhist art in the Western Hemisphere; and such treasures as Aljira: A Center for Contemporary Art,  the New Jersey Historical Society and the newest venue to join the Festival, North Star Academy Charter School.

The Festival has always introduced a diverse range of voices to our audience. Newark gives us the chance to introduce those poets to an even wider audience. And we get to do it while playing a small part in Newark’s renaissance. This is cause for celebration: proof that poetry really can have an impact on people’s lives, on the life of America’s third oldest city.

Next week, we will launch our new website.  We have been working hard to make the website a useful, attractive and comprehensive companion to our programs.  As we move closer to the Festival, further information—including the full poet line up and schedule of events—will be featured.  In the meantime, we have posted information about special rates at Newark hotels on our current website, so that you can make your plans immediately.

For now, we want you to know that the 2012 Festival will have the outstanding programming you’ve come to love:

  • Poets on Poetry: Festival Poets read and discuss some of the poems and poets that have mattered to them.
  • Conversations: Intimate groups of Festival Poets discuss enduring themes evoked by poetry.
  • Festival Poet Readings feature a dynamic and diverse group of poets.
  • Evening Main Stage Readings feature some of our most accomplished and honored poets.
  • Special Opportunities for High School Students, and Teachers of any grade level or content area.

We are grateful to the partners who have made this possible: the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the City of Newark. The cultural and arts community in Newark could not be more welcoming—we are thankful for the cooperation and support of the many organizations that will help to make the 2012 Festival a success:  Aljira: A Center for Contemporary Art, Brick City Development CorporationGreater Newark Area Conventions and Visitors BureauNewark Arts CouncilNew Jersey Historical Society, The Newark Museum, North Star Charter School Academy, First Baptist Peddie Memorial Church, Trinity St. Philip’s Cathedral, and many others.

If you are one of the thousands of 2010 festival-goers who found kinship and inspiration in Dodge’s poetry village, please tell your friends, family and colleagues about the upcoming Festival in Newark. They, too, should have a chance to hear our most celebrated poets, and to play a part in the renaissance of one of America’s most historic cities.  We look forward to seeing you there!


For more information on the venues hosting the Festival see our visual walking tour.

Stay connected.  Join our Mailing List,  subscribe to our Poetry Fridays blog, friend us on Facebook, followus on Twitter @DodgePoetryFest, and visit our YouTube channel to watch videos of poets reading at past Dodge Festivals.

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