Dodge Poetry Festival -- One Week to Go!

I am over-the-moon excited about the Dodge Poetry Festival. Just one week away.

What does this weekend mean to me? Look at this fabulous lineup of poets and artists:

Janet E. Aalfs
Joy Harjo
Brenda Shaughnessy
Chris Abani
Ken Hart
Vivian Shipley
Debra Allbery
Robert Hass
Evie Shockley
Simon Armitage
Brenda Hillman
Charles Simic
Renée Ashley
Edward Hirsch
Patricia Smith
Coleman Barks
Jane Hirshfield
Tracy K. Smith
Jan Beatty
Susan Jackson
Lisa Starr
Coral Bracho
Charles H. Johnson
Madeline Tiger
Lucille Clifton
Ted Kooser
J. C. Todd
Peter Cole
Maxine Kumin
Skye Van Saun
Billy Collins
Joseph O. Legaspi
Paul Violi
Mark Doty
Betty Bonham Lies
Peter Waldor
Thomas Sayers Ellis
Jeffrey McDaniel
BJ Ward
Martín Espada
Naomi Shihab Nye
Luke Warm Water
Beth Ann Fennelly
Sharon Olds
Joe Weil
Sarah Gambito
Linda Pastan
C. D. Wright
Forrest Gander
Patrick Phillips
Franz Wright
Aracelis Girmay
Robin Robertson
Kevin Young
Patricia Goodrich
Steve Sanfield
Nina Israel Zucker
Kate Greenstreet
Roger Sedarat
Luray Gross
Ravi Shankar

The biggest problem I have at Dodge is deciding which session to see because they're always interesting and funny and thought-provoking and reaffirming. And in such a heated political season, I can't wait to hear how poets are responding.

So I have two questions for you.

  1. Are you attending Dodge this year? Be sure to say hello (unless you're creepy).
  2. And from this list, who do you recommend that I see? Which poets should I move heaven and earth to see? Doesn't matter if they are emerging or established poets, I'm open to all artists.


m said…
CD Collins, Kevin Young, Sharon Olds!
m said…
--That's CD Wright and Billy Collins, maybe also Ted Kooser, in the "Just to Say You Heard Them" category

(I figured Patricia Smith, Maxine Kumin, and Lucille Clifton went without saying.)

Say, your message link isn't working would you please e-mail me?
Lori said…
WOW! This sounds like so much fun! I would definitely want to see Billy Collins, Coleman Barks, Naomi Shihab Nye, Jane Hirshfield, Lucile Clifton. Exciting! Have fuN!
January said…
Thanks Lori. I am planning on seeing Nye, Collins, and Clifton. Looking forward to hearing Jane Hirshfield.
January said…
M. Yes, all of those poets are on my list. Thanks!
January said…
Um ... M ... I'm not sure who you are. Sorry. Can't see your profile.

Send me an e-mail at! Thanks.
~ said…
no, sadly not going.

My choices would be--

Robert Hass
Edward Hirsch
Coleman Barks
Jane Hirshfield
Tracy K. Smith
Lucille Clifton

Mark Doty (I've never heard MD so I'd choose him)

Naomi Shihab Nye
Beth Ann Fennelly

Franz Wright
Kevin Young

This would be my list.

I was very underwhelmed at a CD Wright reading, so she'd be on my list to skip. She seemed almost put off by having to read and talk with people.
LJCohen said…
sigh and double sigh. I will be there in spirit, January. Unfortunately, I couldn't pull off the logistics of needing to be in several places at once that weekend and figured my sister in law would never speak to me again if I wasn't at my nephew's Bar Mitzvah.

Darn family! (j/k)

I can't wait to hear all about it.

Have a wonderful time.

January said…
Lisa, mark 2010 on your calendar! You will be missed.

Kelli, I've had that experience at a CD Wright reading, too.

The nice thing about Dodge is that they have poetry samplers at night, 20 poets will read for 5 minutes each. At least I get to hear a bit of everyone's great work since it's impossible to make it to all of the day sessions.
Rethabile said…
I'm really green over here when I see these names. Wish I were going. I've heard Kooser read and he blew me away. Simic is a powerhouse. Chris Abani.

I'd love to hear Patricia Smith, Sharon Olds (who I believe is one of your favourites)

Heck, I'd love to hear all of them!
Goodnight, Mom said…
I know you guys will have a great time!

Of course, you know that Joseph O. Legaspi is the highest on my list. He is just so amazing.
January said…
Kristi, Joseph who?


Rethabile, we'll have to figure out a way to get you here for the next festival in 2010. I'll post pictures and updates starting next Friday.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone you named, but I know little about Chris Abani. I've heard good things, which makes me think I should make a special effort to attend his session.
Rethabile said…
Maybe I should just move to the US. Abani is an intelligent and able speaker. A good poet.
Ed Baker said…
do drop in on Jane Hirshfield AND Steve Sanfield

say hello to both for me..

can't "beat" Jane's THE INK DARK MOON (translations) and her NINE GATES

or Steve's American Zen and No Other Business Here

JH's BUTTON hangs on my wall next to Shizumi Corman's sumi-e

actually... under it
Catherine said…
I think you'd like Beth Ann Fennelly. There's so many other good poets there, I'd find it hard to choose. Not much chance that I will ever have to, though
January said…
Catherine, thanks. Beth Ann writes very well on the topic of motherhood so I look forward to hearing her read.

Ed, thanks for stopping by. I don't think I've ever heard Jane Hirshfield or Steve Sanfield read. Thanks for the recommendations.
susan said…
Oh Maude! The list is just too good. I would lose my mind. Below is my short list (to keep from embarrassing myself). If you see any of the following, I'd love to hear what your experience was like:

Kevin Young
Naomi Shihab Nye
Mark Doty

Tracy K. Smith ***definite. Young, articulate, emerging. How amazing to meet someone who is beginning a promising career.

Patricia Smith
Lucille Clifton
Edward Hirsch - _How to Read A Poem_- My second poetry bible.

Jane Hirshfield

Oh, you are truly one blessed woman. Have a great time.
Anonymous said…
ugh. skip kevin young--waaaaaaaaaaay over rated!
January said…
Didn't see Kevin Young but I like his work. I don't think he's overrated at all.
P. Sinclair said…
Rats. Wish I had seen this a while ago, I would've recommended Brenda Shaughnessy. Her poem "Rise" is one of my all time favorite poems. Anywho...back to reading all the other blog posts I'm catching up on.
January said…
Did you see this recent article on
Brenda Shaughnessy?
P. Sinclair said…
Thanks for the link to the review, Jan. I plan to check the new book out.

Popular Posts