Arts and Dance


  • American Smooth, by Rita Dove

    This video segment from Poetry Everywhere features the poet Rita Dove reading her poem “American Smooth” at the Dodge Poetry Festival. “American Smooth” is the title poem of a collection of Rita Dove’s poems about dancing. “…When I began to appreciate the technical intricacies of each [dance] style,” says Dove, “the rise upon tiptoe, [or] the gradual lowering from tiptoe that one executes in the second half of the third beat of the waltz—only then did ‘American Smooth’ start to shimmer into being.”

    For a biography of the poet Rita Dove, please visit the Poetry Foundation Web site.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Brian, Age 7, by Mark Doty

    This video segment from Poetry Everywhere features poet Mark Doty reading his poem "Brian, Age 7" at the Dodge Poetry Festival. Mark Doty’s poems are often about feeling haunted, by people who have died, or places that have been left behind. In “Brian, Age 7”, the poet is moved by the drawing of a boy he has never met, and whose drawing is soon a memory that might be forgotten unless a poem makes it forever memorable.

    For a biography of the poet Mark Doty, please visit the Poetry Foundation Web site.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Slow Dance, by Matthew Dickman

    This video segment from Poetry Everywhere features the poet Matthew Dickman reading his poem “Slow Dance” at the Dodge Poetry Festival. “Human beings are meaning-making creatures. We cannot help it. We cannot stop doing it.” This quote from Matthew Dickman could be the motto of everyone who reads poetry: even when you are not quite sure you understand it, you want to find meaning in it, and you do.

    Grades: 7-12