Day 1 of Dodge

Apologies for not being able to post updates from the Dodge Poetry Festival. My hotel charged for the internet, so I opted not to connect for the duration of the weekend.


So here goes. I left my house on Thursday at 4AM to catch a flight from Seattle to Newark. No incidents. The I-5 corridor was clear and there was no inclement weather. I made it to the terminal in time, etc..

It's always difficult packing for these events, because you're never sure whether or not you need to pack books. As a rule, I like to carry 10 books. The Borders people specifically asked that I bring copies of Names Above Houses, so I had 10 of those and 10 Requiems. A lot of books, if you ask me, which put a damper on my packing. I also think I overpacked. I wasn't sure what the weather would be like . . . whether it would be sunny, cold, rainy. I checked all the weather sites, etc.. Anyway, I'm boring you with all the details of my packing. I wore maybe half of what I packed. Oh well.

Got into Newark at around 4PM EST, and had to immediately get ready to go to the dinner/get-together for all the poets planned at the NJPAC. When I got there, I saw Rigoberto, Aimee, Dustin, and Jericho, and I joined them for dinner. Everyone was dressed well except me. I swear I look like I was just dumped off a plane because I was. Dinner was okay. The company was certainly far better than the dinner, but hell, it was "free."

After dinner, the gala kick-off reading got underway at 7:30. 24 poets reading about 10 minutes each. All told, a three-hour reading. We got in at 7:30, we didn't leave until 11:30. Wow. Whew. Everyone read stirringly. Sadly, I had left my camera at the hotel in the rush to get over to the site, so I couldn't document the event.

Later that evening, back at the hotel, we all converged at the bar where we ate and drank. Rigoberto, Aimee, Dustin, Jericho and his friend, Santee Frazier, myself, and Matthew Dickman all gathered around, gnoshed, and chatted until the wee hours. Jericho got me confused with this bald Filipino guy:


I went back to my room around 1ish and fell asleep with the television on Sportscenter.

Oliver de la Paz