Elizabeth Poet Featured On NJN Program

STATE – An Elizabeth poet will be featured on the season premiere of NJN’s “State of the Arts.” The episode airs on Friday, Oct. 17 at 8:30 p.m., with a rebroadcast on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 11:30 p.m. 

In the program, “State of the Arts” producer Christopher Benincasa follows poet Joe Weil from his home town of Elizabeth to this fall’s Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, where is he a featured poet.

 Weil was born and raised in Elizabeth and has been described by The New York Times as personifying that town: “working-class, irreverent, modest, but open to the world and filled with a wealth of possibilities.”  Through interviews with Weil and poet Jim Haba, who is the director of the Dodge Poetry Program, viewers discover how Weil transitioned from a blue collar, inner city life to the “greener pasture” of the Dodge festival — a place that a younger Weil thought was out of his reach. 

Weil’s latest book, “Painting the Christmas Trees” was released in September.  He is currently an instructor of writing at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton, but previously had found work in factories in New Jersey.  The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival was held Sept. 25 through 28 at Waterloo Village in Stanhope.

“State of the Arts” will also feature segments on a new musical based on “The Toxic Avenger” film, opening the 2008-09 season at New Brunswick’s George Street Playhouse, and photographer Joshua Lutz who spent ten years documenting the people and places of the Meadowlands.

The current episode of “State of the Arts” can be viewed online at www.njn.net.  Individual stories are available to view following their broadcast by visiting the program online at “State of the Arts”.  Selected “State of the Art” stories can also be seen on YouTube (look for NJN’s Arts & Culture Channel).

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