Hopatcong To Host Dodge Poetry Event

Art Work: Giansebastian Ariza

Poetry: Rhi Bender


The Geraldine Dodge Poetry Foundation will host a regional high school Mini Poetry Festival at Hopatcong High School on Tuesday, November 10, bringing in five area high schools to experience the cultural event.  The event, which has been in the planning since last spring, will include poetic presentations, as well as conversations with six nationally acclaimed poets.

The day will begin with a general assembly, “Morning Sampler of Poets,” where poets,                                      Khalil Murrell, Gretna Wilkinson, John McDermott, Marina Carreira, Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Catherine Doty will present their work. Following the assembly, students will then attend three afternoon sessions with the poets: “conversations with poets,” poetic presentations, and an optional open mic.

A staff of HHS students, garbed in Hopatcong-Dodge T-shirts,  will guide visiting schools that include the following: Sparta High School, Pequannock High School, Kittatinny Regional High School, High Point Regional High School, and Essex County West Caldwell Tech.

English teacher, Mrs. Sandra DeRose, and art teacher, Mr. Jon Rischawy, have been working together to create an art-infused festival. When asked what his art students have been doing to prepare for the festival, Rischway responded, “We have been preparing by creating art work based on poems that were submitted by Hopatcong students.  Our aim was to create relevant art displays for the poetry festival.”

According to DeRose, the months of preparation for this event were well-worth the cultural experience that the festival will bring to the high school. “Living where we do and not being as close to New York City as other towns and cities in New Jersey, we don’t get into the city as often; we’re not as close to the culture. We have to keep in mind that New York City is one of the most cultural cities in the world, and the more we can connect to the exciting events that are going on in the art and preforming world, the better off we will be.”

The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Foundation is an American philanthropic organization which nurtures the spread of poetry, culture, and leadership. Every two years the foundation hosts a major poetry festival, and on the “off’ years the Dodge Foundation hosts mini festivals in high schools across New Jersey.

Hopatcong High School was chosen this year to host the “northern” NJ festival at our school.

Hopatcong staff, administration, and students are anxiously awaiting the event.






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