High School Regional Mini-Festivals

Teachers frequently comment to us that they wish the Festival was held every year.  With the goal of offering New Jersey’s High School students a “festival” experience every year, Dodge Poetry launched Regional High School Mini-Festivals during the fall of years in which we do not have a national Festival, odd numbered years. 

Regional Mini-Festivals are days of creativity, conversations, music, readings and opportunities for students and teachers to interact with poets and peers. Students will have the opportunity to see a main stage poetry performance, as well as engage in break-out groups.

Our first Regional Mini-Festival of 2017 will be held in Newark. We anticipate close to a thousand Newark high school students to join us on this day.

The Mini-Festival will feature eight dynamic poets; a group of individuals who are award-winners, Newark locals, musicians, slam champions, curators, educators and organizers. For the next several weeks, we will be featuring short Q&As with some of the participating poets on the Dodge Blog each Friday. You can access each blog below, as they are posted, by clicking on the poet's name.




MARINA CARREIRA is a Luso-American writer from Newark, NJ. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University, and is curator of "Brick City Speaks", a monthly reading series in Newark. Marina’s chapbook, “I Sing to That Bird Knowing It Won’t Sing Back” was published May 2017 by Finishing Line Press. Her work is featured in Paterson Literary Review, The Acentos Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Hinchas de Poesia, among others.

  EDUARDO C. CORRAL is the son of Mexican immigrants. His debut collection of poetry, Slow Lightning, won the Yale Younger Poets Prize in 2011. He has received numerous honors and awards, including the “Discovery”/The Nation Award, the J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize from Poetry Magazine, a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University. During the 2017-18 academic year, he’ll be a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University.
Originally from Newark, New Jersey, KYLE DARGAN is the editor and founder of Post No Ills online magazine and an Associate Professor of literature and Assistant director of creative writing at American University (Washington, D.C.). His debut collection, The Listening, was awarded the 2003 Cave Canem Prize and his sophomore collection, Bouquet of Hungers, won the 2008 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for poetry. His most recent poetry collections are Logorrhea Dementia and Honest Engine. He lives in Washington, D.C.

JONTERRI GADSON’s debut poetry collection, Blues Triumphant, was published in 2016. She is also the author of two chapbooks. She co-directed Writing from the Margins at Bloomfield College, a literary studies institute with workshops that centered the writing and voices of marginalized writers. Her poetry has appeared in Callaloo, Los Angeles Review, The Collagist, and other journals. She writes for an all-female comedic panel show and her comedy writing earned her selection to the 2016 NBC Late Night Writer's Workshop.  She currently serves as Assistant Professor of Creative Writing/English at Bloomfield College in New Jersey. 

ELLEN HAGAN is a writer, performer, and educator. Her latest collection of poetry Hemisphere, was published by Northwestern University Press, Spring 2015. Ellen's poems and essays can be found on ESPNW.com, in the pages of Creative Nonfiction, Underwired Magazine, She Walks in Beauty, Huizache, Small Batch, and Southern Sin. She is Director of Poetry & Theatre Programs at DreamYard Project and directs their International Poetry Exchange Program with Japan and South Korea.  Ellen is a member of the Affrilachian Poets, Conjure Women, and is co-founder of the girlstory collective. She lives with her husband and daughters in New York City. 

Born in Kingston, Jamaica ROBERT HYLTON has been performing poetry since 1996. He has been an English teacher in Newark NJ for over 18 years as well as a poetry club curator in many public schools, universities, community centers, and churches in the tri-state area. He has performed at renowned venues, such as, the former Serengeti Plains, The Poet’s Corner (Bogies), Euphoria Café and NYC’s The Nuyorican Poet’s Café. Respected by his peers and younger poets alike, Hylton prides himself on mentorship and introducing writing and the art of slam poetry to young people across the tri-state area.
KURTIS LAMKIN is a poet from Philadelphia who plays the Kora, a beautiful West African instrument. He has produced several CDs, the latest of which is called Kora Poems, as well as a book of poems entitled Golden Season. Recently he was selected as a 2013-2014  Poetry Fellow by the Jubilation Foundation; and he is a 2014 grantee of the New Music Foundation for a new project, Big Fun. He is lives in Charleston, South Carolina.
 In 2012, JASMINE MANS was chosen by Glamour magazine as one of their Top 10 Most Influential Woman in College. Lyon Magazine called Jasmine “Your New Favorite Poet on the Internet.” Jasmine competed in HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Brave New Voice and has opened for Goapele, Mos Def, and Janelle Monae. Her work has appeared alongside NoMalice of Clipse and Pharrell. Her artistry has brought her to the Kennedy Center, Broadway's New Amsterdam Theater, the Wisconsin Governor’s Mansion and the Sundance Film Festival. In 2016, Mans opened up for group Disbatch at Madison Square Garden. Jasmine Mans is a classically trained poet and orator whose toured London, Manchester, and, of course, the United States of America.
VINCENT TORO is the author of STEREO.ISLAND.MOSAIC., which was awarded Ahsahta Press’s Sawtooth Poetry Prize and The Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. He has an MFA in poetry from Rutgers and is contributing editor for Kweli Literary Journal. Vincent is recipient of a Poet’s House Emerging Poets Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, The Caribbean Writer’s Cecile De Jongh Poetry Prize, and the Metlife Nuestras Voces Playwriting Award. Vincent teaches at Bronx Community College, is writing liaison at The Cooper Union’s Saturday Program, and is a poet in the schools for The Dreamyard Project and the Dodge Poetry Program.
In This Section

High School Regional Mini-Festivals will meet the following Common Core Standards:

Reading: Literature
Key Ideas and Details:
RL.9-10.2, RL.11-12.2
Craft and Structure:
RL.9-10.4, RL.9-10.6, RL.11-12.4, RL.11-12.5, RL.11-12.6
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity: 
RL.9-10.10, RL.11-12.10 
Speaking and Listening
Comprehension and Collaboration:
SL.9-10.1, SL.11-12.1 
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use:
L.9-10.4, L.9-10.5
Knowledge of Language:
L.11-12.3, L.11-12.5