Festival Submission Guidelines

Submissions are now closed.

If you’ve never been to the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, take some time to learn more about the nature of our event and the poets we’ve invited in the past. We call this a festival because it’s not an academic or professional conference or convention; we don’t present academic papers, career seminars or writing workshops Familiarity with the Festival will help you in selecting which work samples to submit.

The Dodge Poetry Program’s search for poets is ongoing. One of the many ways we find Festival Poets is through open submissions.

We care about introducing our audiences to poets they may not have heard of and offering poets the opportunity to reach a wider audience. Every submission received by October 15, 2019 will be reviewed by all three poets on our anonymous panel.

If you wish to be considered for the 2020 Dodge Poetry Festival, please read our Submissions FAQ and follow all guidelines when submitting.

Keep in mind that we are curating a live event. Unlike editors of print publications, we must give attention to how a poet relates to their audience. This is not a matter of looking for poets of any particular school. Past Dodge Festivals have featured poets with such diverse styles as Amiri Baraka, Eavan Boland, Mahogany L. Browne, Henri Cole, Jan Beatty, Billy Collins, Rita Dove, Martín Espada, David Hinton, Stanley Kunitz, Rachel McKibbens, W. S. Merwin, Anis Mojgani, Aja Monet, Gregory Orr, Mary Ruefle, Patricia Smith, Marie Ponsot, Gary Snyder, C. K. Williams and many others.

Required submission materials are listed below in the order in which they are reviewed. Audio/video recordings, writing samples and books are at the top of the list. Our primary focus is on finding poets we feel compelled to share with our audiences. Degrees, credentials and work experience are secondary considerations.


  • Your submission must be received no later than 11:59 pm EST on October 15, 2019.
  • You will need to upload the materials listed below. Our preference is for you to upload or link to digital versions of all required materials in the Submittable application. We will accept hard copies of additional materials if you do not have digital copies, like books and CDs/DVDs; however, you need to complete the online submission form for Dodge to review your submission.
  • If you choose to mail materials, they must be postmarked no later than October 15, 2019. Please send materials you do not need returned.
  • By submitting, you are confirming that all poems submitted are original works and that you are their sole author. For this reason, we do not accept submissions on behalf of a third party. Agents or publishers wishing to submit on behalf of their authors must send a complete submission in accordance with these guidelines for each. 
Audio or Video Recording (1-3 recordings, audio and/or video)  Since we are curating a live event, audio and/or video recordings are an important piece of your application. We encourage you to submit links to recordings of live readings before an audience.
1-3 books/chapbooks If you have a digital copy of your book(s)/chapbook(s), please upload the digital version(s) directly in the online submission form. If you do not have access to digital book(s)/chapbook(s), you may mail them; please be sure to include a document in the package with your name, mailing address, phone number, and email address.
Work Sample (approximately 20 pages of poetry in a 12-point standard font, such as Times New Roman, Calibri or Arial) Please submit a sample of poems that you would most like to read in front of a live audience and that you feel best represent your work. 
Cover Letter (no longer than 1 page) Please give us a sense of the point of view or perspective that you would bring to the Festival, and the kinds of conversations and readings in which you would like to participate. Please note that we don’t host academic presentations and panels.
Resume/C.V. No more than 2 pages.

You will receive an e-mail from us confirming receipt of materials.

Review of submissions only begins after all have been logged in and acknowledged by late October. Because careful consideration is given to each of the hundreds of submissions we receive, this process typically takes six to seven months. Please respect our process by not calling or writing requesting updates on your submission.

After the initial confirmation email, you may not hear from us until July 31, 2020, when we will send final regrets to those we have not been able to invite for that year. Poets we plan to invite to either the Festival or other Dodge Poetry programming will likely hear from us before then.

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer feedback on submissions.

If you need to mail books/chapbooks or CDs/DVDs, use the address below. Please include a document in the package with your name, mailing address, phone number, and email address.

Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
Attn: Dodge Poetry Festival Submissions
14 Maple Avenue, Suite 400
Morristown, NJ 07960

Please do not submit: press packages; press clippings; book reviews; or proposals for workshops, seminars, group readings, or presentations.

If you still have questions after reading the Submissions FAQ, or require additional guidance, please email us at submissions@grdodge.org