Saturday, October 20, 2007

Upcoming Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival

Even though it's almost a year away, plans for the 12th biennial Dodge Poetry Festival are well underway. Mark your calendars: Thursday, September 25 through Sunday, September 28, 2008.

The festival will again be held at the historic Waterloo Village in Stanhope, New Jersey. Those of you who have attended previous Dodge Festivals know that it's in a beautiful setting running along a river. You'll find lots of green grass, gravel pathways, and charming buildings. For as long as you are able to attend, you will feel yourself transported into another world.

The best part, of course, is the poets. The line-up so far includes Chris Abani, Lucille Clifton, Billy Collins, Martín Espada, Ted Kooser, Maxine Kumin, Naomi Shihab Nye, Charles Simic, and Franz Wright. Many other poets will be added in the coming months. (By the way, if you've applied to read at the festival and haven't heard yet, don't panic; invitations go out as late as the spring.) Keep up to date with developments by visiting the website: Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival

Lucille Clifton is always a favorite at the festival and has been the festival's most often featured poet. Here's a poem of hers I admire.

Miss Rosie

when I watch you
wrapped up like garbage
sitting, surrounded by the smell
of too old potato peels
when I watch you
in your old man's shoes
with the little toe cut out
sitting, waiting for your mind
like next week's grocery
I say
when I watch you
you wet brown bag of a woman
who used to be the best looking gal in Georgia
used to be called the Georgia Rose
I stand up
through your destruction
I stand up

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