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Upcoming Events

Events listed below in the following categorize (click on a heading to jump to your desired set of events):


Image of hundreds of candles being held up a night

Split This Rock Poetry Speak Out – Resistance Open Mic

Saturday, January 21, 2017, 7-9:30 p.m.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Lobby
641 D St NW, Washington, DC 20004

In town for the marches and protests? Join poets and social justice organizations to speak out for a free, just, and compassionate democracy. Join us in forging a nationwide community for the struggle ahead. Share a poem, make a friend, build the resistance!

Sign up here to read a poem: – up to three minutes long. We can’t promise a specific time slot so please plan on attending the entire event. Thanks!

FREE and open to the public
Wheelchair accessible and we're hoping CART service will be provided for the deaf and hard of hearing
The concession stand will be open selling snacks and drinks, including beer and wine

Event sponsors:
Split This Rock
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Institute for Policy Studies

For more info:

Split This Rock at AWP

The AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) Conference & Bookfair is happening in Washington, DC this year from February 8-11 at the Washington Convention Center & Washington Marriott Marquis (801 Mount Vernon Place N.W). This conference is an essential annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers. For more information, visit the AWP website.

Split This Rock is hosting and offering the following events during AWP. Unless noted as FREE below, you must be registered for the conference to attend these events. Here is an additional listing of FREE and low cost events associated with AWP.

See Split This Rock's AWP event page for full schedule of events.


Visit us at Booth 531 at the Bookfair & Enter Raffle for FREE Registration for Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2018 featuring Kwame Dawes, Solmaz Sharif, and more!

Also check out the following two book signings during the book fair!

Thursday, February 9
4-5 pm: Hayes Davis signing Let Our Eyes Linger

Friday, February 10
3 pm Kim Roberts signing The Scientific Method

Two Fab Poetry Readings on Wednesday February 8 (FREE)

LOCATION: Busboys and Poets - 14th & V, 2021 14th St. NW, Washington, DC

6-7:30 pm
The Wandering Song Book Launch!
Central American Writing in the United States
Co-sponsored by Tia Chucha

8-9:30 pm
The Queer Kiss Reading
Co-sponsored by The Watering Hole


A Chorus, a Community, a Welcome: 25 Years of DC Poetry Anthologies
Thursday, Feb. 9, 12-1:15 pm

LOCATION: Supreme Court, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four

Featuring Grace Cavalieri,  Sarah Browning,  Carlos Parada Ayala,  Kim Roberts. Anthologies can be powerful tools for place-making and community building. The editors of five landmark books speak to DC’s experience. The WPFW-FM Anthology, twenty-five years old this year, emerged from a popular radio show. The Black Rooster Collective, twenty years old, arose from a workshop. DC Poets Against the War was a group working for political change. Full Moon on K Street came out on the 10th anniversary of Beltway Poetry Quarterly. Al pie de la Casa Blanca gathers DC poets writing in Spanish.


Syncopated Rhythms: A Celebration of African American Poetry (FREE)
Co-sponsored by Furious Flower Poetry Center & the National Portrait Gallery
Friday February 10, 5-7 pm

LOCATION: National Portrait Gallery Kogod Courtyard | 8th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC

Guest of honor Sonia Sanchez joins us as we rename Split This Rock’s annual poetry contest.  Also, featuring Kyle G. Dargan, Teri Cross Davis, Hayes Davis, Camille Dungy & The Cornelius Eady Trio!


Photo collage of Aracelis Girmay, Tim Seibles, and Danez Smith (from left to right)
A Reading & Conversation with Aracelis Girmay, Tim Seibles & Danez Smith
Co-sponsored by BOA Editions & AWP
Saturday, February 11, 1:30 pm

LOCATION: Ballroom C, Washington Convention Center, Level Three

Featuring Sarah Browning,  Aracelis Girmay,  Tim Seibles,  Danez Smith. Split This Rock and BOA Editions are proud to present three of the most vital poets writing and publishing in the US today. Representing three generations and writing in a stunning variety of poetic styles, the poets presented here take on the big questions with verve, power, and beauty: race and identity, our bloody history and its unrelenting legacy, the erotic as liberation and muse.


Beyond Accommodation: Supporting Disabled Writers at Conferences and Residencies
Saturday, Feb. 11, 3-4:15 pm

LOCATION: Salon F, Washington Convention Center, Level One

Featuring Leigh Stein,  Camisha Jones,  Ryan Walsh,  Connie Voisine. While people with disabilities are the largest minority group in America, making up twenty percent of the population, writers with disabilities are vastly underrepresented at conferences and residencies that are so often essential to career advancement. Join the founders and directors of Zoeglossia, BinderCon, Vermont Studio Center, and Split This Rock for a discussion on best practices for ensuring an event or residency is not only accessible—financially and logistically—but also inclusive.


DC Youth Slam Team Qualifying Slam Season

The DC Youth Slam Team uses poetry to teach and empower teens from the DC metropolitan area to speak up about issues of social justice. With annual travel to regional and national poetry slam festivals such as Brave New Voices, the team provides outstanding opportunities, training, and a platform for talented youth to develop their writing, performance, and public speaking skills with guidance from mentors and teaching artists. The team is a year-long program for students in DC and the surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia (affectionately called the DMV area). Students must currently be enrolled in middle or high school and live in the area to be eligible for the team. Tickets are $5 at the door or FREE. The remaining slam(s) will take place:

Saturday, January 21, 4-6 pm | FREE | Washington Peace Center, 1525 Newton St., NW, Washington, DC 20010 | Facebook event page


Contests & Awards

2017 Abortion Rights Contest

Submissions for the 2017 Abortion Rights Contest are now being accepted. The contest welcomes the poems about the various experiences of people who seek abortion and other reproductive services. Submit by February 28, 2017. For more details, visit Submittable.

2017 Freedom Plow Award Ceremony - April 6

The 2017 recipient and finalists of the The Freedom Plow Award will be celebrated at a gala ceremony and reading at the Arts Club of Washington, D. C. at 6:30 pm on the evening of April 6, 2017. This award recognizes and honors a poet or poetry collective doing innovative and transformative work at the intersection of poetry and social change. More details to come. 


Recurring Events

Split This Rock Writing Workshops - Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday (February 1 & 15)

Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month - 6:30 to 8:30pm  - Split This Rock Office, Institute for Policy Studies 6th Floor Conference Room, 1301 Connecticut St, NW, Suite #600, Washington, DC 20036. Venue is wheelchair accessible. Split This Rock, in collaboration with The Beltway Poetry Slam, hosts bi-monthly writing workshops on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month. All ages are welcome; no need to RSVP. FREE! Just come ready to write! Please note the building doors will be locked when you arrive. A volunteer will be available to let people in until 6:45pm. If you arrive and no volunteer is in the lobby, text/call 202-445-0536 to be let in. Split This Rock's programs are made possible in part by grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation. For more information, email, call 202-787-5210.

Sunday Kind of Love (February 19)

Sunday Kind of Love is held monthly on the 3rd Sunday of every month from 5 to 7:00pm -  Busboys and Poets 14th & V, 2021 14th St, NW, Washington, DC, 20009. Cost: $5. Every month, Split This Rock partners with Busboys and Poets to bring you Sunday Kind of Love Open Mic. Hosted by Sarah Browning and Katy Richey, the event offers a stage for emerging and established poets from the Washington, D.C. area and around the nation. Sunday Kind of Love includes featured poets and an open mic segment. Purchase tickets online or at the door, if still available. Visit the Sunday Kind of Love web page for more information.

Youth Open Mic - Every 3rd Saturday (February 18)

Held monthly on the 3rd Saturday of every month at 5pm - Busboys and Poets, 1025 5th Street, NW, Washington DC.  Youth-focused and youth-led, Youth Open Mic is a monthly series that features student poets, singers, musicians, and actors from the DC/Maryland/Virginia area. Middle school and high school students are encouraged to come share their art in our supportive, progressive, artistic atmosphere. Youth Open Mic is presented by Busboys and Poets in partnership with DC Youth Slam Team and Split This Rock.  Hosted by Joseph Green (Youth Programs Coordinator, DC Youth Slam Team) and teen members of the DC Youth Slam Team.  Sponsored by Split This Rock and Busboys and Poets. Visit Busboys and Poets website for more info and tickets.

Split This Rock Teen Poetry Workshops

Stay tuned for more information on the weekly writing workshop schedule! Workshops are free and open to all teens. For more information, email Joseph Green at or visit the Split This Rock's DC Youth Slam Team Facebook page. It does not matter if you have a little or a lot of experience: just bring yourself and a pen.

Floetic Fridays Youth Open Mic

Every last Friday from 5 to 8:00pm - Freestyle Youth Center, 651 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Washington DC. A youth open mic series open to all with free giveaways, free condoms, free HIV testing, and an open mic! Presented by RealTalkDC & Split This Rock's DC Youth Slam Team. (Note: Adult language may be used.)