We are excited to announce that the submissions application for the 2024 Dodge Poetry Festival, held from October 17 to 19, 2024, is now open. We invite all poets, which encompasses artists who practice spoken word, slam, performance poetry and avant-garde, who use their poetry to challenge and reframe existing narratives and norms, to apply. 

Recently, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) launched Dodge Poetry – a collaboration that celebrates poetry as a catalyst for communities and poets to advance social change. Through this initiative, Dodge Poetry will expand beyond the biennial festival to include year-long programming in Newark. Dodge Poetry events have three goals to: 1) mobilize communities and fuel movements for social change; 2) amplify poet activists who challenge and reframe existing narratives and norms; and 3) create spaces for empathy, healing, and repair for those who have experienced injustice. Read our announcement to learn more.   

Approximately 10-15 poets will be selected from this process to participate in readings and conversations, in person in Newark, NJ, over the three-day Festival. Timing and frequency of poet participation will be determined based on the schedule of events, but we expect poets will participate in one to two live events. Poets will receive an honorarium of $350 per day, and travel and lodging will be covered. 

Dodge Poetry is guided by a deep respect for artists; a commitment to celebrating BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and disabled poets who are underrepresented in traditional poetry; embracing poetry in all its forms; and making deep connections with community partners to ensure poetry is accessible and welcoming.

Deadline to submit is April 15, 2024.

Application Overview

Submissions will be reviewed by an external panel that will be looking for poets who demonstrate the criteria below. Please note that our selection is not based on degrees and credentials.

Connection with Festival Themes & Communities

Applicants should express how their work connects with Dodge Poetry themes of mobilizing communities for social change; challenging and reframing existing narratives and norms; and/or addressing empathy, healing, and repair for those who have experienced injustrice.

Audience Engagement

Applicants should have an ability to deeply engage audiences and strengthen the meaning of their poetry through live performance/reading aloud, going beyond the page.


Selected artists will be able to bring their poems to life through their readings & performances either with offering contextual life experiences, and/or through the richness in craft, tone, and nuance in their poetry. We look for work that take leaps and asks courageous questions—the poems do not need to be technically perfect or have answers—but be searching and offer depth.

If you require an ADA application accommodation, such as an alternative method to submit your materials, please reach out to us at DodgePoetry@njpac.org

Once you’ve submitted, we are unable to accept updates or changes. We will notify all applicants with decisions by June 30, 2024. Please note that we are not able to accept print and hard copy materials. By submitting electronically, applicants are confirming that all submitted works are original and that they are the sole author.

Application Components: 

Short Responses and Relevant Experience: 

The following questions will provide information about the experiences you bring to the Festival:

Tell us about your work and why you would like to present at this year’s Dodge Poetry Festival. Please see our values. No more than 250 words.
Please share any relevant lived experiences that might shape or impact how you engage and present at the Dodge Poetry Festival. No more than 250 words.

Audio or Video Recording: 

1-2 recordings, audio and/or video samples totaling no more than five minutes.

Please submit links to recordings of readings before a live audience. Any content over five minutes will not be reviewed. Please indicate start and stop time markers for each sample. 

Work Sample: 

Up to 10 pages of poetry in a 12-point standard font such as Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial with approximately one-inch margins. Start each work sample on a new page.

Submit a sample poems that you would like to read in front of a live audience. Please include a range of poems that represent your work, and that you would consider reading at the Festival.

We are unable to offer feedback on submissions.