Poetry Friday: “The World’s Best Professional Development Day”

Posted on by Michele Russo

That’s how one teacher described Teacher Day at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival.  We are thrilled to announce that the 2012 Dodge Poetry Festival will feature a fully- programmed Teacher Day on Thursday October 11, 2012.

Since 1986, the thirteen biennial Poetry Festivals combined have drawn approximately 18,000 teachers from as far away as Florida, Maine, Minnesota and California for Teacher Day.  Like all four days of the Festival, Teacher Day is open to the general public, but pre-registered teachers of any subject matter and any grade level are admitted at no charge* to all day-time events.

The largest poetry event in North America, the four-day Festival (October 11-14, 2012) includes a remarkable roster of widely-published and award-winning writers, individual state and U.S. Poets Laureate, NEA and Guggenheim Fellows, and Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners.  The full Festival line up of poets is being confirmed.  Among the many poets you will encounter on Teacher Day are:

Eavan Boland
Henri Cole
Nikky Finney
Terrance Hayes
Juan Felipe Herrera
Jane Hirshfield
Fanny Howe
Kurtis Lamkin
Dorianne Laux
Ada Limón
Thomas Lux
Taylor Mali
Joseph Millar
Gregory Orr
Patricia Smith
Arthur Sze
C.K. Williams

Those who attended the 2010 Festival can attest to the beauty and comfort of the venues in the easily walkable Poetry Village in Newark’s Downtown Arts District.  From NJPAC’s world class performance spaces to the stunning Peddie Baptist Church, there is something to discover around each corner.  The Festival has always introduced a diverse range of voices to our audience. Newark allows us to introduce those poets to an even wider audience, while playing a small part in the renaissance of one of the country’s oldest cities.

Preregistered teachers can attend all daytime events, including:

  • POETS ON POETRY: Festival Poets discuss their own sense of poetry, through reading and discussing their own poems and poems by others that have been important to them.
  • CONVERSATIONS bring together two to four Festival Poets to discuss some of the enduring questions evoked by poetry, such as “On the Life of the Poet,” and “Going Public with Private Feelings.”
  • POETS FOR TEACHERS sessions provide opportunities to discuss with a Festival Poet ways to bring poetry to life inside and outside the classroom.
  • FESTIVAL POET READINGS feature a diverse array of some of our most accomplished poets.
  • OPEN READING opportunities will be available in the afternoon.

Earn up to 9 Professional Development Hours

New Jersey Teachers who participate fully in the Teacher Day program of day-time events and stay for the evening’s main stage performance can earn 9 Professional Development Hours.

  • Participation in the day-time schedule (9:30am-4:30pm) can earn up to 6 PDHs.
  • Participation in the day-time schedule and attendance at the evening main stage performance can earn up to 9 PDHs (Friday evening tickets can be purchased at a reduced rate when they go on sale in September).
  • Teachers who can only attend Friday evening can receive 3 PDHs, but must purchase a Friday evening ticket when they go on sale in September.
    • PDH registration information will be distributed in September.
    • PDH certificates will also be provided to out-of-state teachers who have ascertained that their district will accept New Jersey PDHs.

Registration Information

  • Teachers who are not able to attend Teacher Day may register to attend High School Student Day (Friday, October 12, 2012) without students using the URL above.
  • Do NOT try to use the Teacher Day Registration Form to register a High School student group for High School Student Day. For information on bringing a student group, contact us at studentday@grdodge.org
  • *Please note that there is a registration fee of $10 which defrays the cost of the ticketing process.
  • Tickets will be mailed from the NJPAC Box Office beginning in late August.
  • Teachers who attend on Teacher Day can purchase day-of tickets to the Evening Main Stage Program of half-hour readings at a reduced price.
  • We recommend you register before June 15, 2012.  Registration deadline is Friday September 21, 2012.
  • Special Rates for NJPAC Parking and New Jersey Transit tickets are available.  When your registration for Teacher Day is confirmed, you will receive further instructions on how to purchase your parking pass or NJ Transit ticket.

Teachers who do not pre-register before September 21st will be charged regular admission fees.  Please tell current or prospective student teachers who might be interested in attending TEACHER DAY, that they should request further information at teacherday@grdodge.org. Please tell non-teaching friends that the Festival is open to the general public on all four days of the Festival October 11-14, 2012.

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