It's been four years since I was able to attend the Dodge Poetry Festival. For some time, it even looked as if there wouldn't be a 2010 Dodge because of financial constraints, both within the foundation and outside it with its venue partner in Waterloo Village.
But poets and poetry prevailed and Dodge 2010 is now.
And in an urban venue.
I'm here in Newark (actually, about twenty minutes away at a friend's place) and it's quite a different experience than my previous festivals. I miss the big tent and the outdoor venues. I don't miss the cold rain, the mud, and the leaky tents.
I will miss Coleman Barks and his early morning Rumi. In both of the festivals I attended, his morning readings were the perfect start to a day of poetry.
The performance space at the NJPAC is really beautiful and the acoustics are marvelous, but sitting in assigned seats gives the readings a more formal feel than in the past. It's also trickier to come and go during the readings.
But I will happily trade any of my nitpicks for the opportunity to be here again, to have this festival, this celebration of words go on.