October 11, 2012

Friday at the Dodge Poetry Festival

GERALDINE R. DODGE POETRY FESTIVAL
PROGRAM
October 12, 2012
Friday

9:30-10:30am

Festival Poet Readings
Amiri Baraka, Eavan Boland, Juan Felipe Herrera, Dorianne Laux, Rachel McKibbens
Prudential Hall

During the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be a series of readings from multiple stages throughout the Festival site.  Typically, these are one-hour readings shared by several poets, who each read for ten to fifteen minutes.
Festival Poet Readings
Brian Barker, Henri Cole, Sharon Dolin, Nikky Finney, John Murillo
Victoria Theatre

Poets on Poetry
Ada Limón
Chase Room

To paraphrase Gerald Stern, poets are readers who occasionally stop reading long enough to write something down. In these sessions, Festival Poets talk about their vital relationship to poetry as readers and artists. They may address their understanding of poetry, their experience of becoming a poet and how individual poems—both those written by themselves and others—have contributed to that process. 
Poets on Poetry
Patricia Smith
First Peddie Baptist Memorial Church

Conversation: On the Life of the Poet
Nicky Beer, Arthur Sze, Idra Novey
North Star Academy Gym


10:50-11:50am

Festival Poet Readings
Nicky Beer, Eduardo C. Corral, Joseph Millar, Gregory Orr, Patricia Smith
Prudential Hall

Festival Poet Readings
Emari DiGiorgio, Jane Hirshfield, Taylor Mali, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Arthur Sze
Victoria Theatre

Poets on Poetry
Amiri Baraka
Chase Room

Poets on Poetry
Kurtis Lamkin with tap dancer Maurice Chestnut
New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Center for Arts Education (CAE) Auditorium

Poets on Poetry
Thomas Lux
Trinity & St. Philip’s Cathedral

Conversation: Tell All the Truth, But Tell It Slant
Terrance Hayes, Fanny Howe, Ada Limón, Larissa Szporluk
First Peddie Baptist Memorial Church

In one poem, Emily Dickinson advises “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant.”  What is the purpose of approaching truth obliquely?   Is there a truth greater than literal accuracy?  Can we ever know how much of an apparently autobiographical poem is literally true?  How can we trust the testimony of its author, regardless of what they assert about the authentic or fictional nature of a piece?  Why should such questions matter to readers or poets?
Conversation: Going Public with Private Feelings
Richard Blanco, Eavan Boland, Henri Cole
North Star Academy Gym

How much of one’s personal life can be made available in a work of art? Form and structure—art itself—can make it possible to approach certain feelings and to survive going public with them. This session touches on the difficulty and the importance of articulating private feelings, of trying to say personal truth, as Festival Poets use their own and others’ poems to illustrate the issues.
Poets on Poetry
Dan Bellm
North Star Academy Multi-Purpose Room

Poets on Poetry
Gregory Pardlo
New Jersey Historical Society

12:10-1:10pm

Festival Poet Readings
Richard Blanco, Kurtis Lamkin, Dorianne Laux, Ada Limón, Natasha Trethewey
Prudential Hall

Festival Poet Readings
Thomas Lux, Larissa Szporluk, C. K. Williams, Raúl Zurita, Paul Legault
Victoria Theatre

Poets for Teachers
Gregory Orr
Chase Room

Poets on Poetry
Eduardo C. Corral, Sharon Dolin
CAE Auditorium

Teachers have their own reasons for caring about poetry. These sessions are intended for educators at all classroom levels, but the general public would find them engaging as well.  As in POETS ON POETRY, a Festival Poet will lead the conversation about poems and the art of poetry itself. Part of the aim is to renew teachers’ personal connections with poetry and thereby free up their confidence and flexibility when bringing poetry into their classrooms.

Conversation: From Homer to Hip Hop/Poetry and the Oral Tradition
Rachel McKibbens, Taylor Mali, Patricia Smith
Trinity & St. Philip’s Cathedral

Conversation: Who Is It Can Tell Me Who I Am: Poetry and Identity
Nikky Finney, Juan Felipe Herrera, Arthur Sze
First Peddie Baptist Memorial Church

Having lost all the trappings that secured his identity, King Lear asks, half mad with desperation, “Who is it can tell me who I am?”  Poetry, like all the arts, invites us to ask who we are.  How we explore, discover, express, define and challenge who we are through poetry will be the focus of this conversation. 
Festival Poet Readings
Dan Bellm, Terrance Hayes, Fanny Howe, Idra Novey, Gregory Pardlo
North Star Academy Gym
                                                                                                                                 
Poets on Poetry
Nicky Beer, Brian Barker
North Star Academi Multi-Purpose Room

Poets on Poetry
Emari DiGiorgio
New Jersey Historical Society

1:30-2:30pm

Conversation: For Lack of What Is Found There: Poetry and Survival
Nikky Finney, Dorianne Laux, Gregory Orr, Raúl Zurita
Prudential Hall

The cliché of the self-destructive poet is known to us all because it makes for good drama.  But physicians, police officers, dentists, and members of our military have well above average suicide rates, and alcoholism and substance abuse are found in every profession from lawyers to athletes.  Festival poets discuss the possibility that poetry brings something into our lives that helps us survive, that might actually save us from (to slightly paraphrase William Carlos Williams) “[dying] miserably every day/for lack/of what is found [in poetry].”
Conversation: Finding Your Poetry
Jane Hirshfield, Rachel McKibbens, Joseph Millar, Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Victoria Theatre

Talking to students at the 2004 Dodge Poetry Festival, U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine said it was important for everyone “to find their poetry.”  For him, poetry was what made him feel most fully himself, and he told the students they all needed to find something that made them feel they were making full use of themselves, whatever that was.  It could be landscaping, cooking, or anything.  Festival Poets will talk about how they found their poetry, and the importance of a life that involves rewarding work.
Poets on Poetry
TBD
Chase Room

Poets on Poetry
Taylor Mali, John Murillo
CAE Auditorium

Poets on Poetry
Henri Cole
Trinity & St. Philip’s Cathedral

Poets on Poetry
Natasha Trethewey
First Peddie Baptist Memorial Church

Poets on Poetry
C. K. Williams
North Star Academy Gym

Poets on Poetry
Richard Blanco, Idra Novey
North Star Academy Multi-Purpose Room

Open Reading
General Public
New Jersey Historical Society

2:50-3:50pm

Poets on Poetry
Eavan Boland
Prudential Hall

Conversations: On the Life of the Poet
John Murillo, Larissa Szporluk, Natasha Trethewey, Raúl Zurita & Translator
Victoria Theatre

What goes on behind and around a life that produces poems? How does one find a way to make a life as a poet? Festival Poets share their personal observations and experiences, outlining their own challenges and rewards, delights and disappointments.
Storytelling
Queen Nur and Dwight James
Chase Room

Poets on Poetry
Juan Felipe Herrera
Trinity & St. Philip’s Cathedral

Open Reading
General Public
New Jersey Historical Society

3:50-4:50pm

Open Reading
General Public
New Jersey Historical Society

6:30-10:00pm

Readings & Music
Terrance Hayes, Thomas Lux, Fanny Howe, Jane Hirshfield, Kurtis Lamkin with tap dancer Maurice Chestnut, and NJPAC’s Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens
Prudential Hall

The main-stage readings, which bring the Festival community together under one roof at the close of each day, have been a central feature of every Dodge Poetry Festival. This year they are taking place in the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s beautiful and acoustically splendid Prudential Hall. 

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