Photo courtesy of Ashlee Kiel
It's a place where the poets go. A festival full of words. Stanzas. Appreciation. Inspiration.
The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival takes place in Newark, New Jersey, every two years. When I attended my inaugural festival in 2010, I remember not wanting the weekend to end. I had the opportunity to explore the city with a wonderful group of classmates and meet influential poets such as Billy Collins and Sharon Olds. To borrow a lyric from Dashboard Confessional: Days like that should last and last and last and last. (Shout out to Dance, Andy, Jordan, Kristen, Carissa, Ashlee, Todd, Lydia, Kat, Kate, and Eric.)
The invitation to attend Geraldine R. Dodge this year arrived a little last-minute, but turning it down was not an option. I took off work. I packed my bags. I brought my favorite hat. The weekend began Friday morning at 11 a.m. and as far as I'm concerned, it hasn't ended. A festival of that caliber just doesn't end . . . it stays with you--the poets, the poetry, the city, the memories--the festival stays with you until you can experience it again.
While I'm tempted to chronicle every good thing that happened in Newark and name every poet we had the pleasure to listen to (and in some cases, meet), it would be difficult to keep writing paragraphs about this weekend when I feel as though it would be more appropriate to write stanzas,
as if this entire post
should have been written
like a poem, separated
into lines and influenced
by my desire to return to
Jersey or to find a way
to rewind rewind rewind
rewind > play > time.
If you're a lover of language, don't dodge the Dodge.
P.S. Get ready for 2014 by linking up here: www.dodgepoetry.org.
Fiction, poetry, and all that good stuff . . .