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2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival 
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Post 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
It is just about time for the biennial Dodge Poetry Festival to roll around. The festival will be held October 7-10 in the grand city of Newark, NJ. Okay, not grand. Unfortunately, the GRD foundation was not able to hold the festival at Historic Waterloo Village in Stanhope, New Jersey; a truely grand location. Don't let Newark put you off. The festival will be held in the heart of the city’s vibrant arts district, with its mix of Beaux Arts, Gothic, Art Deco and contemporary architecture. The main area will festival will take place at The New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

This is the largest poetry event in North America and for anyone who loves poetry a must attend; at least once. I hope all the devoted followers of "The Top 500" are listening, I urge you to consider attending. I will be there 3 of the 4 days this year. Lucky me, I have a hotel room across the street from the main building of the festival. This year I'll have a laptop with me and will report directly to you from the field!

If you'd like to get more information here is general link to the festival:
http://www.dodgepoetry.org/festival-2010/

To view videos from the 2006 and 2008 Festivals, visit the GRDodge channel on YouTube at:
http://www.youtube.com/grdodge

I've been posting blurbs and links to information about the 2010 festival poets at: Poetry Fridays : 2010 Festival Poets
booktalk.org/update-on-2010-geraldine-r ... t8396.html

Between now and October I will try to post something about each festival poet.



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Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:40 am
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Post Re: 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
Wow, I didn't know you were so geared up. I like the idea of Newark. Poetry can get too segregated to the bucolic and the wine-and-cheesey. Your trip is something special. We await your words from the front.



Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:30 pm
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Post Re: 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
DWill wrote:
Wow, I didn't know you were so geared up. I like the idea of Newark. Poetry can get too segregated to the bucolic and the wine-and-cheesey. Your trip is something special. We await your words from the front.


You should consider going. Especially since the grit of Newark doesn't put you off. In fact, you've been such a stalwart soldier of poetry with your tireless posting of The Top 500 I think the class ought to pitch in for your ticket and send you!



Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:55 pm
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Post Re: 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
Forbes ran a story on the Dodge Poetry Festival --

http://blogs.forbes.com/booked/2010/09/ ... nnelforbes

The 13th biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival is the largest and most famous poetry event in North America. Organizers expect it to attract more than 20,000 people Oct. 7 – 10, plus 4,500 high-school students from 250 schools across the country. . .

Other featured poets include Pulitzer Prize-winner and McArthur “Genius” Fellowship recipient Galway Kinnell (the 83-year-old will read in its entirety his definitive translation of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duino Elegies, which event spokesperson Ilene Antelman compared to “Sir Laurence Olivier reading the Shakespeare soliloquies in his later years”). . .



Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:04 am
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Post Re: 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
I am here! The internet connection is weak and wavering; a warning that my posts might be rudely interupted and not as well spell check as usual. Newark, NJ is proving to be an odd location for this festival. I heard lots of talk about staying off the streets at night and the events are taking place all around the block (a church and the historical society amoung the locations). The streets all around the site of the festival are closed off with police baricades, so there is a street fair atmosphere.

For now I will leave you with Billy Collins' closing remarks from his session Poets on Poetry --

"TV is telling us that everything is fine; any chanel any show. Contempory Fiction is telling us that nothing is fine. Poetry tells us life is beautiful and then we die."



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Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:41 pm
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Post Re: 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
I heard Matthew Dickman read and talk about this poem today. The last stanza of this poem, especially two lines, of this poem are perfect.

Love

We fall in love at weddings and auctions, over glasses
of wine in Italian restaurants where plastic grapes hang
on the lattice, our bodies throb
in the checkout line, the bus stop, at basketball games
and we can’t keep our hands off each other
until we can—
so we turn to rubber masks and handcuffs,
falling in love again.
We go to movies and sit in the air conditioned dark
with strangers who are in love
with heroes like Peter Parker
who loves a girl he can’t have
because he loves saving the world in red and blue tights
more than he would love to have her ankles wrapped around
his waist or his tongue between her legs.
While we watch films
in which famous people play famous people
who experience pain,
the boy who sold us popcorn loves the girl
who sold us our tickets
and stares at the runs in her stockings
every night,
even though she is in love
with the skinny kid who sold her cigarettes at the 7-11,
and if the world had any compassion
it would let the two of them pass
a Marlboro Light back and forth
until their fingers eventually touched, their mouths
sucking and blowing.
If the world knew how
the light bulb loved the socket
then we would all be better off.
We could all dive head first into the sticky parts.
We could make sweat a religion
and praise the holiness of smelliness.

I am going to stop here,
on this dark night,
on this country road,
where country songs
come from, and kiss her, this woman, below the trees
which are below the stars,
which are below desire.
There is a music to it, I hear it.
Johnny Rotten, Biggie Smalls, Johan Sebastian Bach, I don’t care
what they say—
I loved you the way my mouth loves teeth,
the way a boy I know would risk it all for a purple dinosaur,
who, truth be known, loved him.

In the Midwest, fields of corn are in love
with a scarecrow, his potato-sack head
and straw body, hanging out among the dog-eared stalks
like a farm-Christ full of love.

Turning on the radio I hear
how AM loves FM the way my mother loved Elvis
whose hips all young girls loved, sitting around the television
in a poodle skirt and bobby socks.
He LOVED ME TENDER so much
that I was born after a long night of Black-Russians
and Canasta while “Jailhouse Rock” rocked.

Stamps love envelopes, the licking proves it—
just look at my dog
who obviously loves himself with an intensity
no human being could sustain, though you can’t say
we don’t try.

In High school I once cruised
a MacDonald’s drive-thru butt-naked
on a dare from a beautiful Sophomore,
only to be swallowed up by a grief
born from super-size or no super-size.

Years later I met a woman
named Heavy Metal Goddess
at a party where she brought her husband,
leading him through the dance floor by a leash,
while in Texas cockroaches love with such abandon
that they wear their skeletons on the outside.

Once a baby lizard loved me so completely,
he moved into my apartment and died of hunger.

No one loves war,
but I know a man
who loves tanks so much he wishes he had one
to pick up the groceries, drive his wife to work,
drop his daughter off at school with her Little Mermaid
lunch box, a note hidden inside
next to the apple, folded
with a love that can be translated into any language: I HOPE
YOU DO NOT SUFFER.

Matthew Dickman



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Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:31 pm
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Post Re: 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
Saffron wrote:
Forbes ran a story on the Dodge Poetry Festival --

http://blogs.forbes.com/booked/2010/09/ ... nnelforbes

The 13th biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival is the largest and most famous poetry event in North America. Organizers expect it to attract more than 20,000 people Oct. 7 – 10, plus 4,500 high-school students from 250 schools across the country. . .

Other featured poets include Pulitzer Prize-winner and McArthur “Genius” Fellowship recipient Galway Kinnell (the 83-year-old will read in its entirety his definitive translation of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duino Elegies, which event spokesperson Ilene Antelman compared to “Sir Laurence Olivier reading the Shakespeare soliloquies in his later years”). . .

Good for you, pioneer of poetry! Go see Galway Kinnell and tell me what you think. He visited CSU in about 1973 and I saw him read. I really go for his poem "Flower Herding Pictures on Mt. Monadnock."



Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:25 pm
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Post Re: 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
Saffron wrote:
I am here! The internet connection is weak and wavering; a warning that my posts might be rudely interupted and not as well spell check as usual. Newark, NJ is proving to be an odd location for this festival. I heard lots of talk about staying off the streets at night and the events are taking place all around the block (a church and the historical society amoung the locations). The streets all around the site of the festival are closed off with police baricades, so there is a street fair atmosphere.

For now I will leave you with Billy Collins' closing remarks from his session Poets on Poetry --

"TV is telling us that everything is fine; any chanel any show. Contempory Fiction is telling us that nothing is fine. Poetry tells us life is beautiful and then we die."

The setting sounds intriguing, edgy, (if a trifle scary!). It will be really interesting to hear how this festival flies by the end.



Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:28 pm
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Post Re: 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
I took DWill's directive to go see Galway Kinnell. What a delight. He began his reading with this:

Oatmeal

I eat oatmeal for breakfast.
I make it on the hot plate and put skimmed milk on it.
I eat it alone.
I am aware it is not good to eat oatmeal alone.
Its consistency is such that is better for your mental health
if somebody eats it with you.
That is why I often think up an imaginary companion to have
breakfast with.
Possibly it is even worse to eat oatmeal with an imaginary
companion.
Nevertheless, yesterday morning, I ate my oatmeal porridge,
as he called it with John Keats.
Keats said I was absolutely right to invite him:
due to its glutinous texture, gluey lumpishness, hint of slime,
and unsual willingness to disintigrate, oatmeal should
not be eaten alone.
He said that in his opinion, however, it is perfectly OK to eat
it with an imaginary companion, and that he himself had
enjoyed memorable porridges with Edmund Spenser and John
Milton.
Even if eating oatmeal with an imaginary companion is not as
wholesome as Keats claims, still, you can learn something
from it.
Yesterday morning, for instance, Keats told me about writing the
"Ode to a Nightingale."
He had a heck of a time finishing it those were his words "Oi 'ad
a 'eck of a toime," he said, more or less, speaking through
his porridge.
He wrote it quickly, on scraps of paper, which he then stuck in his
pocket,
but when he got home he couldn't figure out the order of the stanzas,
and he and a friend spread the papers on a table, and they
made some sense of them, but he isn't sure to this day if
they got it right.
An entire stanza may have slipped into the lining of his jacket
through a hole in his pocket.
He still wonders about the occasional sense of drift between stanzas,
and the way here and there a line will go into the
configuration of a Moslem at prayer, then raise itself up
and peer about, and then lay \ itself down slightly off the mark,
causing the poem to move forward with a reckless, shining wobble.
He said someone told him that later in life Wordsworth heard about
the scraps of paper on the table, and tried shuffling some
stanzas of his own, but only made matters worse.
I would not have known any of this but for my reluctance to eat oatmeal
alone.
When breakfast was over, John recited "To Autumn."
He recited it slowly, with much feeling, and he articulated the words
lovingly, and his odd accent sounded sweet.
He didn't offer the story of writing "To Autumn," I doubt if there
is much of one.
But he did say the sight of a just-harvested oat field go thim started
on it, and two of the lines, "For Summer has o'er-brimmed their
clammy cells" and "Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours,"
came to him while eating oatmeal alone.
I can see him drawing a spoon through the stuff, gazing into the glimmering
furrows, muttering.
Maybe there is no sublime; only the shining of the amnion's tatters.
For supper tonight I am going to have a baked potato left over from lunch.
I am aware that a leftover baked potato is damp, slippery, and simultaneaously
gummy and crumbly, and therefore I'm going to invite Patrick Kavanagh
to join me.



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Post Re: 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
I can see why Dwill recommended him, that gets some dings out of me too. I went and looked at the Mt Monadnock one, since that was a constant view (and yearly field trip) from my childhood.

How was it overall? Is this the kind of thing where you actually get to meet some of the poets?


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Si vis pacem, para bellum: If you wish for peace, prepare for war.


Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:27 am
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Post Re: 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
"he himself had
enjoyed memorable porridges with Edmund Spenser and John
Milton."

I'll bet he did! That was really fun and good and worth the price of admission, I would think.



Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:13 am
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Post Re: 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
froglipz wrote:
I can see why Dwill recommended him, that gets some dings out of me too. I went and looked at the Mt Monadnock one, since that was a constant view (and yearly field trip) from my childhood.

How was it overall? Is this the kind of thing where you actually get to meet some of the poets?


Yes, you can meet the poets. There are readings, poets talking about their work and the process of writing a poem, and a huge tent book store filled with books of poetry. Imagine a room full of people clapping and cheering at the end of poetry reading. It's kinda a heaven for poetry lovers.



Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:05 pm
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Post Re: 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
That sounds wonderful to me :) Who did you get to meet, and what did you think?


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Si vis pacem, para bellum: If you wish for peace, prepare for war.


Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:14 am
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