Any mention of Newark in the New York Times catches my eye. Wednesday an article about the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival touted Newark’s burgeoning cultural scene, “evidenced by established cultural institutions like Newark Symphony Hall and the Newark Museum, as well as by new art galleries and restaurants and the . . . Prudential Center.” They were a hair’s breadth from mentioning our beloved up-and-coming MFA program. It deserves a mention among Newark’s latest achievements, especially for its community outreach programs, such as Writers at Newark. And don’t forget its lively urban campus community. Newark is worth checking out these days, so get out and enjoy its gritty edge, its thriving neighborhoods, a world away from the quiet green streets of my suburban neighborhood, the Newark Museum, which has a permanent collection of American art worth repeat visits, and the Ironbound restaurants, all within walking distance of the campus. I’ve tried Seabra’s Marisqueira, on Madison Street just off Ferry for seafood and Iberia Peninsula, on Ferry Street for rodizio, outrageous ten course barbeque. The Poetry Festival features readings, discussions, storytelling, and music at NJPAC and other nearby locations and runs through Sunday, October 10. Tickets here.
All experiences can inspire us and give us observations and insights that help our work, or you can call it procrastinating in a different place.