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Roxbury Students Attend Dodge Poetry Festival


Roxbury Students Attend Dodge Poetry Festival

AP Literature at Dodge Poetry Festival Group Shot  

ROXBURY, NJ (October 25, 2018) – Roxbury High School AP Literature students along with their teachers, Laura Schmidt, Allyson Spargo, and Sharon Baker attended the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival on October 19th at NJPAC in Newark and the surrounding area. 

While there, these seventeen students had the opportunity to meet, speak with, listen to, ask questions of, and hear discussions by and about various poets. The day they attended is specifically geared for high school students. 

“The event is not only inspiring, but it also happens to fall right near the end of our poetry unit of study in the classroom. What better way to learn about poetry than from actual contemporary poets especially as many of the students on the trip write their own poetry,” shared Schmidt. 

Adding, “Students on the way home mentioned how great the day was and that they were talking about wanting to have a Poetry Out Loud competition when the event is held. They were also inspired by these poets and left with a better understanding of the many purposes that poetry offers.” 

In the coming AP Literature classes, students will debrief on the highlights of the festival for those students who could not attend as well as share information from the different groups who attended different sessions. “We will then be applying knowledge from the festival to the poetic technique we have been studying in class,” said Schmidt. 

The biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival is the largest poetry event in North America. The festival immerses audiences and more than five dozen internationally acclaimed poets in discussions, readings, and conversations focusing on poetry. Events are held all day and evening in performance venues accommodating anywhere from 100 to over 2,000 people. Each day, ten or more separate stages simultaneously offer different activities. 

Schmidt noted, “These experiences are so important because so much learning can happen outside the classroom. These students got to meet contemporary poets who are making a living doing something they truly love. The students in attendance were inspired in their own work, but they also got to connect with the poets and other festival attendees on a human level. So much of the poetry we listened to was about connecting and the human experience, so it was such as beautiful day outside the classroom to experience that and truly enhance their learning.” 

PHOTO ATTACHED (courtesy of Roxbury High School)

  • AP Lit at Dodge Poetry Festival 1: Pictured Natalie Lugo (Gr 11), Taylor Woolford (Gr 11), Tara Roumes (Gr 11), Sierra Valdes (Gr 11), and Katie Smith (Gr 11), Erin Luby (Gr 12), Lizvette Pappaterra (Gr 12), Briana Bailey (Gr 11), Arjana Goroveci (Gr 11), Mia Espaillat (Gr 11), Serena Vizueta (Gr 11), Spencer Scalamoni (Gr 11), Antonia Mastos-Kruck (Gr 11), Melissa Priester (Gr 11), Marisa Palmucci (Gr 11), Magda Perrett (Gr 11), and Jana Lima (Gr 11)
  • AP Lit at Dodge Poetry Festival 2 (L to R): Natalie Lugo (Gr 11), Taylor Woolford (Gr 11), Tara Roumes (Gr 11), Sierra Valdes (Gr 11), and Katie Smith (Gr 11) 


For more information, contact: Roxbury Community School/Community Relations Coordinator Ann Rhodes at or 973-584-7699. 


Roxbury Public Schools is a K-12 school district preparing the children of today for tomorrow. As a dynamic and thriving district, in partnership with a supportive and collaborative community, Roxbury Public Schools inspires and empowers all learners to flourish as ethical and global citizens in the 21st century. The district serves students throughout Roxbury Township, New Jersey, including the areas of Landing, Kenvil, Succasunna, Ledgewood, Mount Arlington, Port Morris, Flanders, and Wharton. Connect with us online at or on Facebook at