Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bye, Bye Dodge

A friend of mine sent me an article on how the state of the economy will impact the 2010 Dodge Poetry Festival. I have many fond memories of my years making the long drive to central Jersey and going all poetry geek at meeting and getting autographs from some of my favorites. The atmosphere was relaxing and open to allow us to just enjoy the day. We could sit back outside the tent listening in the warm sun or take a nice stroll along the river. Then came my last visit this past September. I tried to blog about it after the fact, but a poet who was a speaker there didn't take too kindly to my representation of the festival. Trying to do the right thing and being a bit of a wuss I removed the post. Sadly I regret that because to this day I feel I was right. Long gone was the relaxed atmosphere that I enjoyed to be replaced with a more regimented schedule. Everywhere you turned there was something going on and instead of giving the poets the freedom to speak organically about their experiences as a poet and what the craft means to them allowing us, the attendees, dictate the direction of subject matter. No, now the directors created lectures so pretentious if it weren't for the talent of the poets speaking it would have died a quick and painful death. All this to say I was disappointed. I missed being able to walk along with a poet and discuss any such matter without feeling rushed, sitting under the trees with people I never met before and enjoying the moment, and I missed how relaxed I felt. I am not surprised in the least. I am sorry this is the case, but I am hoping that this will be a lesson they will learn to not take the reader for granted.


posted by Out Of Jersey | 11:16 AM


Anonymous heather said...

Sorry something so meaningful to you is gone. I know that's hard.
And it's frustrating with people feel the need to make things more official. It may make things bigger, but not always better.
Last time I went to a writer's conference, I didn't go to any sessions. Just chatted with other writers. I learn more from that.

12:46 PM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

I hear ya, I am at peace about this. It served it's purpose at the time. There are a few good venues still left in the philly area.

1:43 PM  

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