Thursday, October 22, 2020

Join us as we kick off the 4-day Dodge Poetry Festival with TEACHER DAY, which offers free admission to pre-registered teachers, administrators, school counselors & librarians on Thursday, October 22, 2020. This day is designed especially for educators like you, who want to rejuvenate your love for poetry, discover new voices, reconnect with special poems, share your work at open readings, see old friends, and receive a free Teachers Kit filled with poems and activities to bring back to your school.
The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival is the largest biennial poetry event in North America and is held in the Downtown Arts District of Newark, New Jersey with events taking place at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and nearby venues. In beautiful & historic spaces, poets ranging from U.S. Laureates to young emerging voices come together for readings and panel discussions that showcase the vibrancy and diversity of contemporary poetry.

The Benefits of Teacher Day

  •  Revitalize your creativity and love of lifelong learning

  • Receive Professional Development Hours for your participation

  • Address the requirements of New Jersey Department of Education Professional Standards for Teachers
  • Receive the free Festival Teachers Kit, which includes Festival Poet poems, bios, quotes and reading lists on easy-to-reproduce poet pages and teaching ideas for classroom use
  • Hear directly from poets about their writing process and their creative lives
  • Connect with poets representing various schools of poetry, cultures and points of view
  • Discover contemporary poetry you can bring back to your classroom
  • Shop the Festival bookstore, which features hundreds of titles of contemporary poetry hard to find in bookstores, and have books signed by the poets

Teacher Day events include: 

POETRY SAMPLER: The Festival Poetry Sampler has been one of the favorite Teacher Day events. There will be a sampler during the day and a second after dinner.

READINGS AND CONVERSATION feature three to four Festival Poets who each give a brief reading followed by an open-ended Q & A.

POETS ON POETRY: Festival Poets discuss their own sense of poetry, through reading and discussing their own poems and poems by others that are important to them.

POETS FOR TEACHERS: These discussions feature Festival Poets experienced in keeping poetry alive in their own and their students’ lives.

CONVERSATIONS: A small group of Festival Poets discusses the enduring questions evoked by poetry, such as “Poetry and the Oral Tradition” and “Going Public with Private Feelings.”

OPEN READINGS are ongoing all afternoon. Bring your own or a favorite poem to share!


  • We recommend you register before the 2019-2020 school year ends to guarantee a ticket; however, the deadline to register will be in October 1, 2020. Teachers who do not register by this deadline can still purchase a $45 discounted ticket for Thursday through NJPAC’s Box Office.
  • The Teacher Day ticket allows teachers entrance to the festival at no cost for both daytime and nighttime events on Thursday, October 22, 2020 (space permitting - secure your spot soon!) 
  • Teachers must be employed by an accredited educational institution, or be retired from working in an accredited educational institution.
  • Teachers who cannot attend Teacher Day may register to attend High School Student Day (Friday, October 23. 2020) without students. (More info about this available January 2020.)
  • Tickets will begin being mailed in early October.
  • You will receive further information about traveling to the Festival (re: parking and NJ Transit discounted tickets) after you register.

Please do NOT use Teacher Day Registration to register a group for High School Student Day. For information on bringing a student group, contact us at studentday(at)grdodge(dot)org or visit our High School Student Day page.

The Festival is open to the public October 22-25, 2020.

Questions? Contact us at teacherday(at)grdodge(dot)org or (973) 695-1190.

Click here to register for Teacher Day