October 10, 2012

Thursday at the Dodge Poetry Festival

GERALDINE R. DODGE POETRY FESTIVAL
PROGRAM FOR OCTOBER 11, 2012

THURSDAY
9:30-10:45 am

Welcome & Reading and Conversation
Kurtis Lamkin, Dorianne Laux, Taylor Mali
New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Prudential Hall

It’s been said that reading poetry is entering into a conversation held across centuries, cultures and continents.  In these sessions, three Festival Poets each give a brief reading followed by an open ended conversation.
11:00-12:15

Reading and Conversation
Eavan Boland, Terrance Hayes, Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Prudential Hall

Reading and Conversation
Henri Cole, Nicky Beer, Nikky Finney
New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Victoria Theatre

Conversation: From Homer to Hip-Hop: Poetry and the Oral Tradition
Juan Felipe Herrera, Kurtis Lamkin, Taylor Mali, Rachel McKibbens
New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Chase Room

The oral tradition is the original source of poetry, far older than any distinctions we now make between poet and storyteller, shaman and actor.  Homer, like the bard of Beowulf, likely recited his poems to a simple musical accompaniment, perhaps no more than a drumbeat.  In recent decades we’ve seen an explosion of poetry slams, jams, readings and open mikes in urban, suburban and rural communities.  Festival Poets explore what contemporary poets and spoken-word artists might learn by approaching each other as compatriots in a much older tradition. 

Conversation: The Riches of Daily Life
Sharon Dolin, Thomas Lux, Idra Novey
First Peddie Baptist Memorial Church

Much traditional and contemporary poetry in many parts of the world finds grounding in the actualities of the ordinary.  In his Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke responds to the young poet’s concern that he has not lived a rich enough life to have any material for poems: “If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it.  Blame yourself.  Tell yourself you are not poet enough to call forth its riches.” This conversation explores how what we encounter in our daily lives can be a powerful source or springboard for poetry. 


Open Reading
General Public
New Jersey Historical Society

12:30-1:45pm

Reading and Conversation
Eduardo C. Corral, Juan Felipe Herrera, Jane Hirshfield
Prudential Hall

Reading and Conversation
Fanny Howe, Gregory Orr, Gregory Pardlo
Victoria Theatre

Conversation: A Life Together
Brian Barker, Nicky Beer, Dorianne Laux, Joseph Millar
Chase Room

It’s a challenge for an individual to make a life in any art, but when both partners in a couple are artists?  Two couples, Nicky Beer & Brian Barker and Dorianne Laux & Joseph Millar, discuss the rewards and challenges of sharing a life together as working poets.
Conversation: Crossing Boundaries
Dan Bellm, Eavan Boland, Nikky Finney, Benjamin Alire Sáenz
First Peddie Baptist Memorial Church

Many poems and poets cross linguistic, geographic and cultural boundaries.  But personal or government imposed censorship, family, religious or cultural taboos, the dictates of one fashionable aesthetic school or another, have all created boundaries that had to be crossed for some of our most memorable, influential and powerful poems to be written.  Some poems come out of the need to break down boundaries.  Festival poets discuss the place of boundaries and of the need to cross them in their life and work.
Open Reading
General Public
New Jersey Historical Society

2:00-3:15pm

Reading and Conversation
Ada Limón, Thomas Lux, Idra Novey
Prudential Hall

Reading and Conversation
Dan Bellm, Joseph Millar, Patricia Smith
Victoria Theatre

Conversation: A Music of Pause
Henri Cole, Gregory Orr, Arthur Sze
First Peddie Baptist Memorial Church

There are poems that move through time as much by how they shape their silences as by how they shape the sounds of words.  Such poems invite us to linger over specific images or ideas, and seem to arrest our attention briefly before moving us on.  This shaping of perception is quite different from the experience of poems with rhythms that seem to propel us forward.  This discussion will involve as much listening as speaking.   

Open Reading
General Public
New Jersey Historical Society

3:30-4:30

Reading and Conversation
Sharon Dolin, John Murillo, C.K. Williams
Prudential Hall

Reading and Conversation
Brian Barker, Rachel McKibbens, Arthur Sze
Victoria Theatre

Conversation: Mirror Blossom Urn Collage
Eduardo C. Corral, Terrance Hayes, Fanny Howe, Ada Limón
First Peddie Baptist Memorial Church

Is poetry’s purpose “to hold the mirror up to nature” or “to teach and delight?”  Should a poem be an organic form that grows naturally out of the poet’s attempts at self-expression or a “well-wrought urn” we admire as much for its construction as for its content?  Is it a clearly told story or a collage of images linked by dream logic?  This conversation will explore how our assumptions about poetry and form influence our sense of what a poem is or what is possible in poetry. 
Open Reading
General Public/Moderator
New Jersey Historical Society

7:15-7:30

Welcome
Mayor Cory Booker, John Schreiber, Chris Daggett
Prudential Hall

7:30-10:00

POETRY SAMPLER
Richard Blanco, Eavan Boland, Henri Cole, Sharon Dolin, Nikky Finney, Terrance Hayes, Juan Felipe Herrera, Jane Hirshfield, Fanny Howe, Kurtis Lamkin, Dorianne Laux, Ada Limón, Thomas Lux, Rachel McKibbens, Taylor Mali, Joseph Millar, Idra Novey, Gregory Orr, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Patricia Smith, Arthur Sze, Larissa Szporluk, Natasha Trethewey, C.K. Williams, Raúl Zurita, and NJPAC’s Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens
Prudential Hall

Twenty–five Festival Poets will read during this extraordinary session.  The Poetry Sampler is always one of the highlights of the four-day schedule, and one of the most popular Festival events.  Each poet will read for five to six minutes. 


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