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Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness 2018 | April 19-21, 2018 | Washington, DC

Photo of 2016 festival attendees sitting and standing in conversation

Every two years, Split This Rock proudly presents Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness. The festival is the only one of its kind in the country highlighting poetry at the intersection of the imagination and social change. As DC’s premiere poetry event, it now gathers more than 700 poets, activists, and dreamers in our nation’s capital for three days of readings, workshops, panel discussions, youth programming, open mics, and activism, plus a book fair and a party. 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. Relive festival memories by watching featured poet videos on Youtube or exploring our past festivalsRegistration opens in late fall 2017.

FEATURED POETS

Photo collage of Elizabeth Acevedo (top left), Kwame Dawes (top right), Sonia Sanchez (bottom left), Solmaz Sharif (bottom right)

Split This Rock Poetry Festival is one of the rare occasions you’ll find national slam champs, Pushcart and Pulitzer Prize winners, and emerging talents presented together on one stage. Some of the most innovative and necessary poets of our time have been featured at past festivals, including Jan Beatty, Franny Choi, Martín Espada, Ross Gay, Ocean Vuong, Linda Hogan, Yusef Komunyakaa, Naomi Shihab Nye, Sonia Sanchez, Danez Smith, Patricia Smith, and Alice Walker. In 2016, the festival even included the then newly appointed Poet Laureate of the United States, Juan Felipe Herrera. The 2018 festival lineup will not disappoint, featuring Elizabeth Acevedo, Kwame Dawes, Sonia Sanchez, Solmaz Sharif, and more to come. Stay tuned for other featured poets to be announced! 

 

2018 FESTIVAL FOCUS

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.

As we enter the session selections process in the next couple months, we're particularly interested in sessions designed to 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. 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. It is our desire to offer a schedule that includes opportunities to learn ways that poetry is being engaged in resistance efforts against oppressive measures by political leaders that put our civil rights, health, education system, environment and lives at risk. As always, we'll be on the look out for sessions that reflect diversity, creative ways of interacting, intergenerational conversations, and ideas that are new to us.

SPONSORSHIP

Festival sponsorship is now being accepted and can be given online. Visit the festival sponsorship webpage for more information or contact Camisha Jones at camisha@splitthisrock.org.

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 page.

PUBLIC ACTION

We are now accepting suggestions for the festival's call to action. Please take our brief 3 question online survey.

 


2018 FESTIVAL - CALL FOR PROPOSALS (CLOSED)

Thank you again to all who submitted session proposals. The session selection committee is now in the process of reviewing the proposals - we hope to make announcements around mid-September. Please keep posted.

Split This Rock invites proposals for workshops, panel and roundtable discussions, and themed group readings for the Sixth Biennial Split This Rock Poetry Festival, 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, 11:59pm EST. 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 tiana@splitthisrock.org or (202) 787-5210.

WHAT WE'RE SEEKING
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!

 

First Photo by Tyler Grigsby. Photo of Solmaz Sharif by Arash Saedinia. Photo of Kwame Dawes by Rachel Griffins.