Sunday, January 18, 2009

2010 Dodge Festival Cancelled

Just don't have the words for this. From NJ.com:


The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in Morristown will skip the next Dodge Poetry Festival -- expected to happen in the Fall of 2010 -- as a result of the ongoing economic crisis.


The festival, which is the largest poetry festival in the United States, has meant so much to me as an emerging writer and a poet. I've been attending since my NYU days 1996. Since it happens every two years, the poetry-filled weekend always seems to come along when I need a break from the day to day. Secretly, it's always been my hope that one day I would read at the festival as a "Poet Among Us."

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation does so much for the arts in New Jersey, as well as bringing poetry to high school students. Here's hoping those efforts can continue.

Well, my hope is that the organizers see fit to find a way to make the festival happen. This is a terrible loss for the poetry community. But with the inauguration around the corner, I have hope that Dodge will come back stronger than ever.

I hope.

8 comments:

kj said...

it made me sad to read this. i know how much it means to you.

i still think you should check out the colrain manuscript conferences held in western mass. i think you would love it all...

Maya Ganesan said...

What?! I truly enjoyed your coverage of the festival. And I loved watching the videos of the readings.

January said...

Thanks Maya. My hope is that somehow festival organizers find a way to cut corners. Hard to believe an organization with a $90 million endowment can't make it happen.

January said...

KJ, I'll definitely check out Colrain.

Part of what makes Dodge special is that most of the venues are outdoors, or in some rustic location that makes you feel very close to nature.

*big sigh*

Maya Ganesan said...

$90 million? I never knew. That makes it even more unfair. :(

Anonymous said...

Perhaps all those poets who have benefited from Dodge over the years would agree to come read for free for one year to keep the festival going? Would that save enough money to let it run?

kevin said...

Perhaps all those poets who have benefited from Dodge over the years would agree to come read for free for one year to keep the festival going? Would that save enough money to let it run?

January said...

Hi Kevin. I think it would be a nice gesture for poets (esp top-tier poets) to do it for free or half of what has been paid in the past. But I read somewhere that poets' stipends are about 20 percent of their budget.

My humble opinion? Dodge needs to tighten thier operating costs, bring in a budget-conscious manager, fund-raise like crazy, and cut other programs that aren't popular. And, if they raised their ticket prices by 20 percent, I don't think anyone would care since the event is almost two years away.

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