I’m not sure where I’ll be September 25-28, but if you’re in the US Northeast, it’s worth juggling around your schedule and spending a day—or four– at the Dodge Poetry Festival.
The festival, which is held every two years, is described as the largest poetry event in North America, and unites some of the best American poets, musicians, and storytellers in a single location– pastoral Waterloo Village in Stanhope, New Jersey (yes, New Jersey)–where you can enjoy readings, music, talks, and workshops in the festival’s outdoor performance tents.
This year’s festival features 62 poets and artists, including some of my all-time favorites, Naomi Shihab Nye, Coleman Barks, Billy Collins, Lucille Clifton, and Martin Espada. The full festival schedule can be found here, and ticket information is available here.
I’ve been to the Dodge Festival and recommend it highly. If you want to make plans to attend, NYC is the perfect launch pad for you; buses leave from the Port Authority and take you directly to the village. The Poetry Bus, run by Lakeland Bus Lines, will provide round-trip service from the PA to Waterloo Village. It’s just over an hour and tickets are $10.60 one-way. For more information about busing it to Waterloo, visit Lakeland Bus’s website.
Alternately, AlterNetRides is organizing rideshares and carpools. Check their website if this is more your style.
Love poetry but can’t make it to this year’s festival? Check out Bill Moyers’s excellent books based on his interviews with festival poets, The Language of Life: A Festival of Poetsand Fooling with Words: A Celebration of Poets and Their Craft or take a few minutes to enjoy this video from a past Dodge Festival:
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Julie Schwietert Collazo is a writer, editor, researcher, and translator currently in New York, formerly of Mexico City and San Juan.
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