April 10, 2012

Dodge Poetry Festival 2012 tickets on sale now

Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker
Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker read two original poems today at the NJ PAC at the announcement of the return of the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival to Brick City October 11 through 14. 

Delighted to welcome the Dodge Festival back to Newark, Booker seized the opportunity to accentuate the city's comeback amid its nearby treasures. The Mayor noted his love for poetry from early childhood readings of Dr. Seuss and Langston Hughes.

Booker, who had been apprised of the tradition of reading a poem at the biennial announcement of the event two years ago, understood that he was expected to write his own poem for the event. So, that's what he did two years ago. And again today.

Yes, Booker admits he's very busy, but he also admits to regularly writing poetry. He said one of the poems he read Tuesday was written earlier in the week on his Blackberry at a Springsteen concert in New York.

Director of the Dodge Poetry Program Martin Farawell noted that Booker's poetry has improved in the interim. The light-hearted mood continued as Farawell noted many of the better-known poets scheduled to read at this year's event. The who's who of poetry includes U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine, Pulitzer Prize winners C.K. Willilams and Natasha Trethewey, poet-musician Kurtis Lamkin and many more.
Poet  Patricia Smith and Dodge Festival  director Martin Farawell. 

Four-time National Grand Slam Champion Patricia Smith read two emotional poems from her poetry collection Blood Dazzler, about Huricane Katrina. Smith says the book is "Katrina personified."

In October, the festival will present a world premiere performance of selections from Smith's book set to Wynton Marsalis's "At the Octoroon Balls" with a string quartet performed by members of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

The Dodge poetry festival has been held every two years since 1986. Two years ago the festival was in danger of being canceled altogether when the economy fell off, money grew tight, and  Waterloo Village in Newton was taken out of consideration. Several venues vied to host the 2010 festival and it fell to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, along with several other enchanting and exciting locations within walk of the easily accessible downtown of the state's largest city.

More details about who and where and when will follow, but today, the news is that you can order Festival tickets here. Need one day, a weekend pair, or a full four-day pass, get them now and then get back to working on your own verse.
From our archives:

Poetry in the woods - Part 1 - Dodge Poetry Festival 2006
Poetry in the woods - Part 5
Copyright © 2012 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Photos and content may not be used for commercial purposes.

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