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

Every two years poets, activists, and dreamers gather in our nation’s capital for four days of readings, workshops, discussions, youth voices & activism. Featuring some of the most significantly and artistically vibrant poets today, the festival offers opportunities to speak out for justice, build connection and community, and celebrate the many ways poetry can act as an agent for social change. Split This Rock Poetry Festival is DC’s premiere poetry event and the only festival of its kind in the country, highlighting poets working at the intersection of the imagination and social change. Relive festival memories by watching featured poet videos on Youtube or exploring our past festivals!

SPONSORSHIP: Festival sponsorship is now being accepted and can be given online. For more information, contact Camisha Jones at

INTERNSHIPS: We are now accepting applications for interns who would like to be part of the 2018 Split This Rock Poetry Festival leadership team. Learn more about the positions on the Volunteer & Internship Positions page.


Photo of 2016 festival attendees sitting and standing in conversation

Split This Rock invites proposals for workshops, panel and roundtable discussions, and themed group readings for the Sixth Biennial Split This Rock Poetry Festival, celebrating Split This Rock's 10th anniversary, scheduled for April 19-21, 2018, in Washington, DC. The festival, celebrating the tenth anniversary of Split This Rock will feature Kwame Dawes and Solmaz Sharif!

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE JUNE 30, 2017. Visit Submittable for full submission guidelines and to submit.

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

Not only does poetry equip us to speak out against oppression but it helps to sustain us in these extremely perilous times. It reminds us of what it means to be fully human, holds the vision of what is possible, creates community, keeps alive what we value: compassion, justice, love. Poetry helps us find our voice when we feel powerless. It helps us be our best selves, so we can continue the long-term activism our current climate demands.

We're particularly interested this year in seeing proposals that help us combat despair (or ride through it), learn from one another across generations, celebrate cultures targeted by hate, figure out what it means to live in this time, and equip us all as creative and effective citizens and activists.

We value diversity within the sessions, creative ways of interacting, ideas that are new to us. Special areas of interest this year are sessions focused on disability, transgender issues, reproductive rights, xenophobia/immigration, health care issues, confronting white supremacy, poverty and economic inequality, and eco-justice. We're eager to learn about ways that you've engaged poetry in working against the current repressive regime and we welcome intergenerational conversations.

Visit Submittable for full submission guidelines and to submit your ideas. We look forward to reading your proposals. Thank you!


Photo by Tyler Grigsby