The 2020 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival

The 2020 Geraldine R. Dodge Festival

The 18th Biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Festival will be held virtually from Thursday, October 22 to Sunday, November 1. All readings and panels are free and open to the public with registration. Register here:

Poets participating in the virtual Festival include the current U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo, and former Laureates Charles Simic and Natasha Trethewey. Also participating will be Elizabeth Alexander and Richard Blanco, President Obama’s first and second inaugural poets respectively, as well as Pulitzer Prize winners Forrest Gander and Tyehimba Jess, and MacArthur Fellowship recipients Terrance Hayes, and Edward Hirsch. Other much published and award-winning poets previously announced for the 2020 Festival are Ellen Bass, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Marilyn Chin, Cornelius Eady, Martín Espada, Kwame Dawes, Natalie Diaz, Nikky Finney, Carolyn Forché, Vievee Francis, Linda Gregerson, Brenda Hillman, Marie Howe, Dorianne Laux, Ada Limón, Alicia Ostriker, Paisley Rekdal, David St. John, and Kevin Young.

The 2020 Dodge Poetry Festival marks the third time, but first time online, the renowned Academy of American Poets will integrate its annual Poets Forum into the Festival, bringing together their Board of Chancellors for readings and conversations.  Participating Chancellors include Elizabeth Alexander, Ellen Bass, Marilyn Chin, Kwame Dawes, Forrest Gander, Linda Gregerson, Joy Harjo, Terrance Hayes, Brenda Hillman, Marie Howe, Dorianne Laux, Alicia Ostriker, David St. John, Natasha Trethewey, and Kevin Young.

You can find the full schedule of Poets Forum and Academy Chancellor events at the Festival below:

Thursday, October 22Opening Celebration Poetry Samplers. With readings by Ellen Bass*, Reginald Dwayne BettsRichard BlancoMarilyn Chin*, Kwame Dawes*, Natalie DiazCornelius EadyMartín EspadaNikky FinneyCarolyn ForchéVievee FrancisForrest Gander*, Linda Gregerson*, Joy Harjo*, Terrance Hayes*, Brenda Hillman*, Edward HirschMarie Howe*, Tyehimba JessDorianne Laux*, Ada LimónAlicia Suskin Ostriker*, Paisley RekdalCharles SimicDavid St. John*, and Natasha Trethewey*. 

Friday, October 23, from 3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. EDT: Shelter in Poems. Inspired by the Academy's Shelter in Poems initiative and virtual reading, which was broadcast in the spring of 2020 and attended by thousands of poetry lovers from all over the world, Academy Chancellors Linda GregersonMarie HoweDorianne Laux, and Alicia Ostriker will share more poems that offer comfort and courage in these challenging times. This conversation will be followed by a Q&A session from 3:45 to 4:05 p.m. EDT. 

Saturday, October 24, from 3 p.m. to 4:05 p.m. EDT: Poetry and Climate Justice. Join Academy Chancellors Ellen BassForrest GanderBrenda Hillman, and David St. John as they share ideas about the role poets play in envisioning a future where protecting our environment and social justice are entwined— and about the role poetry plays in addressing the climate crisis. This conversation will be followed by a Q&A session from 3:45 to 4:05 p.m. EDT. 

Friday, October 30, from 3 p.m. to 4:05 p.m. EDT: Poetry and Poems in Support of Black Lives. Academy Chancellors Terrance Hayes and Kwame Dawes continue their long-standing commitment to celebrating the value and persistent relevance of art, and especially poetry in our world today. For both poets, the poet’s obligation to record, to leave a record of experiences (ordinary, human and sincere) and of their bodies’ existence in the historical moment is as radical and revolutionary and urgent as any protest poem might be. This conversation will be followed by a Q&A session from 3:45 to 4:05 p.m. EDT.