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Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The alarm blasted a bit earlier than usual, five o'clock to be exact. I had to get myself to school for the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. The bus was leaving at 6:30 with or without me occupying a seat. With the sun approaching its spot in the sky, just high enough to block the vision of a driver on Congers Road, we were off to Waterloo, New Jersey.

Waterloo is a quaint, cordial village where the Dodge Poetry Festival is held biannually for four days. It is the largest poetry extravaganza in North America. This village is the perfect setting because of the beautiful blue water and running waterfalls that encircle it. Its many trees allow for small groups to meet and talk. Some even put their poetry to music with a guitar for the background.

The highlight of the Festival is being able to listen and meet some of my favorite poets. On hand were Robert Hass, Gwendolyn Brooks, Gerald Stern, Joy Harjo and Marie Howe, just to name a few. Robert Hass spoke of his inspirations for poetry and his personal perspiration when staring at a blank sheet of paper. For a writer, this was a great experience.

For me, the climax of the day was listening to Letta Neely. Her honest and frank description of the revolving, round ball we all occupy, was incredibly, absolutely, positively amazing. She spoke with attitude and feeling about issues that affect us all, whether black, white, yellow, green, Catholic or Jewish.

The Festival not only left a lasting impression on me, but other students as well. I think everyone's juices were flowing by the end of the day and new ideas were brewing


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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