Poem of the Week Series
Split This Rock's Poem of the Week series publishes a contemporary poem online each week. Each poem is also emailed to Split This Rock's entire network via our weekly e-newsletter.
All poems Split This Rock has published in the series since 2009, along with contest winners and video from past festivals and youth programs, are available in The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database, searchable by social justice theme, author’s identity, state, and geographic region. Like all of Split This Rock’s programs, Poem of the Week and The Quarry are designed to bring poetry fully to the center of public life.
A preview of this week's poem is in the Poem of the Week box on the right. Click on "Keep reading" to see the full poem. Click the arrows to see previews of the past four weekly poems.
We encourage you to use and share these poems widely, and ask only that you credit the author and name Split This Rock’s Poem of the Week and/or The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database as the source. Please also include a direct link to the database for any reproduction of poems.
Submissions for Poem of the Week are CLOSED.
We are however accepting poems for the following:
- 10th Annual Split This Rock Poetry Contest. Submit by November 1. More information on the contest web page and Submittable.
The Kind of Poems We Seek
We're looking for socially engaged poems of provocation and witness, poems on topics such as (but not limited to) identity, community, civic engagement, politics, economics, government, war, leadership, education, activism, history, Americana, and cultural icons.
We are especially interested in themes currently under-represented in The Quarry, poems on themes such as (but not limited to) Indigenous life and resistance, disability issues, working class issues, poverty and inequality, international perspectives, transgender and genderqueer themes.
When we are open for submissions, we generally accept up to 3 poems at Split This Rock's Submittable page with the following guidelines:
- We accept only poems that have not yet been published online. If your poem is selected and it is posted on social media, we ask that you take it down prior to publishing.
- Please do not include any identifying information with the poems themselves. Do check to make sure your name is not in the name of the document file.
- Simultaneous submissions are OK, but please notify us immediately if the poem is accepted elsewhere.
- In terms of structure, poems with fairly short lines without complex formatting are the most compatible with our publishing and email platforms. Though there is no specific line limit, poems of no more than 30 lines tend to work best here.
- Please note: If we choose to include your poem as part of the series, we'll need a bit more information from you and about you so that we can properly categorize your poem within our online social justice poetry database, The Quarry. A link to a short form will be sent to you if your poem is used.
- Mailed and Emailed Submissions: Except for special circumstances we are aware of in advance, we do not accept mailed submissions. If you have a circumstance that makes it difficult for you to utilize Submittable, please contact us for instructions on how to email your submission. It is important that we know about your situation before receiving your mailed or emailed entry. Please allow sufficient time for your submission to be received.
Accessibility: If Submittable is not accessible to you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions on how to e-mail your submission. It is important that we know about your situation before receiving your mailed or emailed entry. Please allow sufficient time for your submission to be received.
How We Choose
We read blind. To help us do so, please make sure your name and other identifying information does not appear either in or on your poetry submission (check the file name, too). We hide your Submittable bio and other identifying information (address, email, photo, etc.) on our end during the reading process.
We usually have a set of preliminary readers who vote on all the poems. Out of those results, a group of three (both directors and Split This Rock's Poetry & Social Justice Fellow) choose poems by arrival at consensus.
We read with an ear for representation of communities building a socially just world or struggling to survive and surmount oppression. We read with an ear for poems that challenge all status quo, poems that tell burning or beautiful truths, that surge with power and craft.
Selections for Poem of the Week are made collaboratively by Split This Rock's Executive Director Sarah Browning, Managing Director Camisha Jones, and Poetry and Social Justice Fellow Simone Roberts. Visit the Staff web page for their biographies.