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2018 Sonia Sanchez-Langston Hughes Poetry Contest (formerly the Annual Poetry Contest)

Each year, Split This Rock sponsors a national poetry contest which serves to raise the visibility and prestige of poetry of provocation and witness. Formerly known as Split This Rock's Annual Poetry Contest, the contest was renamed in 2017 the Sonia Sanchez-Langston Hughes Poetry Contest. The new name honors two poets significant to Split This Rock: Langston Hughes who penned the poem "Big Buddy" from which Split This Rock takes its name and Sonia Sanchez who opened the very first Split This Rock Poetry Festival in 2008. Contest winning poems are published on Split This Rock's website and in The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database.

The 2018 Sonia Sanchez-Langston Hughes Poetry Contest is now CLOSED.

Contest Judge: SONIA SANCHEZ

Photo of Sonia Sanchez. An African American woman in a red cap and glasses, standing at a podium speaking with her arms posed upward

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness 2018

$1,000 in prizes awarded for poems of provocation & witness!

DEADLINE: November 1, 2017

SUBMIT AT SUBMITTABLE!

ACCESSIBLE WORD VERSION OF SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS BELOW.


PRIZES: First place $500; 2nd and 3rd place, $250 each. Winning poems will be published on Split This Rock's website and in The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database. All prize winners will receive free festival registration to Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2018 and the 1st place recipient will be invited to read the winning poem on the main stage at the festival.

EXCITING NEWS!! First place will also receive a one-week residency at Wellspring House in February 2018, dates to be negotiated. Nestled in the beautiful village of Ashfield, MA, Wellspring House was founded in 1999 by the parents of Split This Rock co-founder and Executive Director, Sarah Browning: Ann Hutt Browning and her husband Preston Browning, Jr. Just two hours from Boston and three hours from New York City, Ashfield offers the solitude of country life with the connectedness of a small neighborly town.

READING FEE: $20, which supports Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2018.

ACCESSIBLE SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS: If Submittable is not accessible to you, you are welcomed to submit your poem(s) using the accessible Word version of the submission instructions. After submitting your poem(s), if you have not received an email confirmation of receipt within a week's time, please contact us at emma@splitthisrock.org or (202) 787-5210.

GUIDELINES BELOW.
 

ABOUT THE JUDGE

Photo of Sonia Sanchez. An African American woman with gray locks worn with bangs and spirals who is smiling and wearing a black top.

Sonia Sanchez is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, including, among others, Morning Haiku (Beacon Press, 2010), Homegirls and Handgrenades (White Pine Press, 2007), Shake Loose My Skin: New and Selected Poems (1999); Like the Singing Coming Off the Drums: Love Poems (1998); and Does your house have lions? (1995), which was nominated for both the NAACP Image and National Book Critics Circle Award.

Among the many honors she has received are the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, the Lucretia Mott Award, the Outstanding Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Peace and Freedom Award from the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University, where she began teaching in 1977, and held the Laura Carnell Chair in English there until her retirement in 1999. She is the first Poet Laureate of Philadelphia. Learn more at Sonia Sanchez's website.

OVERVIEW

THEMES: Submissions should be in the spirit of Split This Rock: socially engaged poems, poems that reach beyond the self to connect with the larger community or world; poems of provocation and witness. This theme can be interpreted broadly and may include but is not limited to work addressing politics, economics, government, war, resistance, leadership; issues of identity (gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, disability, socioeconomic class, body image, immigration, heritage, etc.); community, civic engagement, education, activism; and poems about history, Americana, cultural icons. Visit the Past Poetry Contests webpage and The Quarry for past prize winning poems.

Split This Rock subscribes to the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses Contest Code of Ethics. Read it online at our website.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Submissions need to be received by 11:59 pm on November 1, 2017, Eastern Standard Time.

Submit up to 3 unpublished poems, no more than 6 pages total, no more than 1 poem per page, in any style, in the spirit of Split This Rock (see above). For instructions, visit Split This Rock's Submittable page or, if Submittable is not accessible to you, download the accessible Word document below. NOTE: Entries totalling more than 6 pages will not be read.

What we mean by “unpublished”: We accept only poems that have not yet been included in a publication with an ISBN number or online via a juried journal or website. If your poem is selected and it is posted on social media, we ask that you take it down prior to our publishing contest results.

We read entries anonymously. Please do not put your name or contact information on the document you upload to Submittable or within its title or your poems will be in jeopardy of being disqualified.

Simultaneous submissions are OK, but please notify us immediately if the poem is accepted elsewhere.

Close friends, relatives, students, and former students of the judge are excluded from the contest. Likewise, the current Board of Directors, staff, teaching artists, and DC Youth Slam Team of Split This Rock are excluded, as are members of their immediate families. (For more detail: visit the code of ethics on our website.)

Mailed and Emailed Submissions: Except for special circumstances we are aware of in advance or in the case of people for whom Submittable is inaccessible, we do not accept mailed or emailed submissions. Instructions for how to submit if Submittable is inaccessible to you are available below in the "Accessible Submissions Instructions" section below.

We encourage you to submit before the November 1 deadline so that if you encounter problems we can assist you.

ACCESSIBLE SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS: If Submittable is not accessible to you, you are welcomed to submit your poem(s) using the accessible Word version of the submission instructions. After submitting your poem(s), if you have not received an email confirmation of receipt within a week's time, please contact us at emma@splitthisrock.org or (202) 787-5210.

Late entries will not be accepted.

Once decisions have been made, you will receive an email notifying you of the status of your submission. We do not send hard copy notifications or accept self addressed stamped envelopes. Please monitor Split This Rock’s website and Facebook page for updates on the contest if for some reason you have trouble receiving emails.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  info@splitthisrock.org | (202) 787-5210 | splitthisrock.submittable.com/submit