Dodge Poetry Festival Launches YouTube Channel

by Staff

Despite the cancellation of its 2010 poetry festival, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation recently launched a channel on YouTube featuring twenty-nine videos of poets reading at past festivals. The biennial event, which is held in Waterloo Village, New Jersey, has hosted blockbuster poets such as Billy Collins, Robert Hass, Maxine Kumin, and Paul Muldoon. In an article in the current issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, contributing editor Kevin Nance reports that, although nineteen thousand people attended the most recent event, in 2008, the foundation was forced to cancel next year's festival due to economic setbacks.

In an open letter that explains the situation to festival supporters, Dodge Foundation president David Grant in January described an archive of over 2,500 hours of high-quality audio and video recordings that the foundation would try to make available to a wide audience. The foundation's new YouTube channel is the first step toward realizing that goal. "The Festival experience itself cannot be duplicated, but we take heart that it can and will be shared by students, teachers, poets, and poetry lovers the world over," Grant wrote.

The channel currently features videos of poets such as Chris Abani, Lucille Clifton, Mark Doty, Joy Harjo, and Anne Waldman. Below is a 2006 reading by Linda Gregg, who recently won the Jackson Poetry Prize, sponsored by Poets & Writers, Inc.