RU-N Alumni Headline Poetry Reading Series in Military Park

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The end of August will bring to a close this year’s Lunchtime Poems reading series, an arts and culture program sponsored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival and the Military Park Partnership for the third consecutive summer. Presented every Tuesday throughout the season, the reading series features at least three poets who share their works with the general public, free of charge. On August 16, Sean Battle, Paula Neves, and Bryanna Lee, three alumni of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program at Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N), read original pieces inspired by current events, family, and life experiences.

Watch the video to see Battle, Lee, and Neves in action. 

Battle is founder and chief executive officer of EVOLVE NJ, an arts education firm that connects artistry and academics. He is known for his collection of poems, The Forest of Bricks, a 2014 self-publication, and has been published in Borderline, Radius: Poetry from the Center of the Edge, and The Legendary. He resides in Newark and teaches at Essex County College. 

Neves, a native Newarker, expresses her Portuguese heritage through her poetry. Her work appears in Writers of the Portuguese Diaspora in the United States and Canada: An Anthology, Interdisciplinary Journal of Portuguese Diaspora Studies, Gávea-Brown Publications, Luna Luna Magazine, and Quiddity International Literary Journal. She is a contributing artist of The GlassBook Project and an adjunct professor at RU-N.

Lee, also an RU-N instructor, teaches English composition and writing workshops. She was the 2012-2013 Joseph F. McCrindle online editorial fellow for Poets & Writers, and her work is posted on Selfies in Ink. Lee draws inspiration from RU-N’s students, noting their intelligence and diligence. “[They] remind… me every day how important reading, writing, and social justice are to our community.”

Even though the waning days of summer are upon us, many of the headliners of Lunchtime Poems will return to Newark in October for a repeat performance at the 2016 Dodge Poetry Festival.

“We like to keep our connection to Newark alive between festivals and play our small part in reminding people throughout North Jersey that Newark is a place for poetry [all year-round],” stated Martin Farawell, director of the Dodge Poetry Festival.


Photo of Bryanna Lee by Nora Luongo