Giving Poems a Voice

Along the way to adulthood, we can forget the simple pleasure of being read to, or the feeling of discovering that we could read. The poems we remember best are often those we first encountered in this way

Led by poets throughout New Jersey, Giving Poems a Voice invites us to enter a common space where poems are shared aloud, and to immerse ourselves in the pure pleasure of reading and listening to poetry without any pressure to perform as a writer, student or teacher.

Not a writing workshop or seminar, no one reads their own poems and selections are never critiqued or analyzed. Poems are read from a shared packet provided by Dodge Poetry, selections made spontaneously, and this low-pressure environment can lead to deep connections with poems and poets and with each other.

Open to members of the general public and teachers, Giving Poems a Voice can reinvigorate the most experienced teacher as well as introduce the beginner to the pleasure and personal connection that can come from sharing poetry with others in a safe, non-threatening environment. 

Based on the first session of the popular six-week Clearing the Spring, Tending the Fountain series the Dodge Poetry Program has offered since 1992, Giving Poems a Voice offers the perfect opportunity to sample the Clearing the Spring, Tending the Fountain experience thousands of New Jersey teachers have found deeply rewarding. 

Offered for free, Giving Poems a Voice meets only once, for 2-3 hours, at locations spread out in counties throughout the state, on a variety of weeknights and Saturday mornings during the spring. Writing is not a requirement for participation.


Sites that are hosting sessions include:

Registration is closed.