MK Trip to the Poetry Festival


Julia Lucid, Reporter

Every two years, thousands of teens from New Jersey school districts converge in Newark for the Dodge Poetry festival, where real life poets read their incredible, beautifully written works and answer never ending questions from the audience. Mr. Curtis, the Creative Writing teacher here at Morris Knolls, and Mrs. Bauer, the teacher for the Gifted and Talented program, brings a select group of kids who enjoy literature and poetry on this trip.

As Mrs. Bauer conveyed, “I loved the poetry festival. It’s been several years since I have been able to go and I’m really lucky to be here.”

  Sandra Cisneros, the author of the memoir The House on Mango Street and the recently written poetry book A Women Without Shame spoke about how poetry is a way to express yourself and your feelings to the fullest extent, stating, “Try to relax, take a nap, and write your heart out.”

Another extraordinary writer at the Dodge Poetry Festival was Daniel B. SummerHills, who writes about current global problems. The president of the Morris Knolls Thespian Society Elijah Dor expressed his feelings toward the poet’s work, saying, “I definitely related and liked Daniel B. SummerHills’ poems. I liked his word play and how he used the world of arts as an inspiration to write. It was very eye opening.” 

Kwame Davis is an author who has written sixty books of poetry, fictional criticisms, and essays. His most recent works are Nebraska and A City of Bones: A Testament. He spoke about the art of writing a story and how to improve writing skills, especially in regards to a memoir. He shared that when deciding what to write about, the author has to ask themselves,  “Why am I writing this and where am I in this? Sometimes you want to disappear from your work, but you have to ask yourself, ‘Who is vulnerable in your story?’ It is only when you’re vulnerable when people can relate.” 

He was very motivational, and he sent some imparting tidbits of advice to help writers and poets write about their feelings. “Keep telling yourself it’s good, write regularly, and if you ever get stuck, don’t fuss but leap over it and write in a new place. Read about the genre you’re trying to write about. And take a break after a while so you are excited to write about the subject later on.” He helped young writers in many ways and helped them have the confidence they need to pursue writing.

Overall, the poetry festival was an incredible experience that will hopefully continue for years to come.

Image One: Daniel B SummerHills articulating one of his poems.

Image Two: Kwame Davis discussing the art of storytelling.