Newark, NJ (PRWEB) August 17, 2012
The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation has announced the complete program of more than 100 poetry events and a full roster of poets who will perform in the 14th biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, presented in partnership with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the City of Newark, NJ from October 11 through 14, 2012. Today also marks the debut of the Dodge Poetry app, where users will be able, for the first time, to plan their Festival schedule on their smart phones and other handheld devices. The Dodge Poetry Festival is the largest poetry event in North America. Called Wordstock by The New York Times, audience members have the opportunity to hear performances from and interact with dozens of the worlds foremost poets with an extraordinarily wide range of backgrounds and styles. Single day passes to the Festival are now on sale at http://www.njpac.org and at the NJPAC box office, as are weekend and four-day passes.
Poets returning to the Festival include former U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine (2011-12) and the newly appointed U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey (2012- ), Pulitzer Prize-winner C. K. Williams, poet-musician Kurtis Lamkin, National Book Award winners Terrance Hayes and Thomas Lux, and T.S. Eliot Prize-winner Jane Hirshfield. Among the poets making their Dodge Poetry Festival debuts this year are: Pulitzer Prize finalist Henri Cole, Chilean National Literature Prize winner Raul Zurita, Irelands leading woman poet Eavan Boland, California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, National Book Award winner Nikky Finney, Fanny Howe, and Gregory Orr. Returning to the Festival for the second consecutive year are Newark resident and founder of the Black Arts Movement Amiri Baraka and National Book Award finalist Dorianne Laux. The Festival will also present a world premiere performance of selections from four-time National Grand Slam Champion Patricia Smiths book-length sequence Blood Dazzler, about Hurricane Katrina, set to Wynton Marsalis At the Octoroon Balls string quartet and performed by members of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
A highlight of the Festival will be a Poetry Sampler taking place on Thursday evening, October 11, offering audiences the opportunity to hear 25 acclaimed poets including Natasha Trethewey, Nikky Finney, Terrance Hayes, and others, giving short, back-to-back readings over two-and-a-half hours, an event unparalleled at any other poetry gathering.
In addition to readings and performances, all Festival poets will participate in discussions and other multi-poet events. Of particular note are several sessions entitled Reading and Conversation, in which groups of poets will read their work and engage in a question and answer period with the audience. Other discussion topics include Poetry and Pride, which explores the impact of gay poets on contemporary poetry; A Life Together, featuring two pairs of married poets; and Lost and Found in Translation, with two Latin American poets and their translators discussing the challenge of preserving the original intent and feeling when a poem is translated into a different language.
Another Festival highlight will be a session with Newark native Amiri Baraka, who, in addition to participating in multiple events throughout the Festival, will participate in a discussion about the 45th anniversary of the Newark uprising with historian and Rutgers University Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor Clement Price, who serves on President Obamas Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
Anchored by events at NJPAC, the Festival will transform downtown Newark into a Poetry Village, with many of the performances and readings occurring at alternate venues and cultural destinations in Newark, all within easy walking distance of the Center including Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, First Peddie Baptist Memorial Church, the New Jersey Historical Society, the Newark Museum, North Star Academy, and Trinity & St. Philips Cathedral. At times during the Festival, ten or more separate stages will offer events simultaneously for audiences from 100 to 2,000 people.
Every Dodge Poetry Festival, since the first in 1986, has offered the opportunity to see and hear some of the icons of the age, poets whove had a major influence on those who followed them, like Philip Levine, C. K. Williams, and Eavan Boland, said Martin Farawell, Festival Director. But what has always made the Festival so exciting is the opportunity to discover new voices, to discover more of the American poetries, as the late Adrienne Rich put it, that are out there. That feeling, that the poetry community really is national and international, that it cuts across all boundaries and welcomes everyone from every background, from the expert to the person who hasnt even discovered how powerfully poetry can speak to them, is whats made the Festival such a memorable experience. And the Dodge Poetry staff has worked very hard to put together a line up for the 2012 Festival that will keep that tradition vibrant and alive.
We’re proud to welcome many of the worlds greatest poets and their fans to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center this October, said John Schreiber, President and CEO, NJPAC. The Dodge Poetry Festival draws a diverse and enthusiastic audience to Newark, and we’re excited to greet the thousands of visitors who will share in this extraordinary celebration.
The response to the 2010 Festival in Newark was outstanding, said Christopher Daggett, President and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Visitors who came to Newark for the first time discovered its beautiful performance spaces and churches, and the art galleries, museums, and restaurants. And the people of Newark couldnt have been more welcoming. We are grateful to them, and proud to have the City of Newark and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center as our partners. We are excited about the 2012 Festival, excited that Dodges decades-long investment in poetry has allowed us to play a small part in the renaissance of a great American city. We look forward to a long run in our new home.
Newark has been home to and the inspiration for countless great artists, and following the success of the 2010 Festival, were very happy to be welcoming the Dodge Poetry Festival back to our city and the world-class New Jersey Performing Arts Center. The Dodge Poetry Festival is the largest poetry festival in North America and visitors from across the globe will have the opportunity to hear great works of poetry in some of Newarks most important cultural and historical locations. This Festival will continue to manifest Newarks status as a destination for entertainment and the arts, said Newarks Mayor, Cory A. Booker.
Known for its tremendous ethnic and cultural diversity, downtown Newark is located three miles from Newark Liberty International Airport, one of the largest international airports in the United States. Downtown Newark is easily accessible by public transportation via Amtrak, New Jersey Transit (NJT), and PATH trains, and is located at the center of the New York metropolitan area. This year, as a key component of the Dodge Foundations commitment to a healthier environment, the Festival will partner with NJT to make public transportation more affordable for Festival-goers. NJT will offer $ 10 ticket vouchers for Festival participants for a round-trip to and from any NJT rail station to Newark Penn Station. The $ 10 NJT tickets are purchased through NJPAC when purchasing Festival tickets online, over the phone or at the box office. The Festival ticket can be shown to the conductor in place of a regular ticket and can be used to ride the Light Rail from Newark Penn Station to NJPAC, offering door-to- door service for Festival goers.
The Dodge Festival is electrical, legendary, and indispensable — the most exuberant, far-ranging, far-reaching poetry gathering America of