Split This Rock’s full-time staff members hold executive-level responsibilities within a shared, consensus-based leadership structure with collaboration and support from the Board of Directors.
As staff continue to work remotely due to the ongoing pandemic, email is the best way to reach us. Calls and meetings can be arranged by emailed request. Split This Rock's virtual office is closed each Monday. Due to Split This Rock's small staff size, response time for non-urgent outreach is dependent on team capacity.
Learn more about getting in touch with us at the CONTACT US page.
Interested in joining the team? Check Split This Rock’s Job Openings page for open roles and information on applying for them, and subscribe to Split This Rock’s email list to be the first to know about new opportunities.
Chelsea Iorlano | Director of Youth Programs
Image Description of Photo of Chelsea Iorlano: Chelsea appears outdoors smiling at the camera with tropical greenery in the background. She is white with dark brown eyes and dark brown, wavy hair that falls just below her shoulders. She wears a brightly colored, striped rebozo, gold hoop earrings, a gold necklace, and a pink flower in her hair.
Chelsea Iorlano is a Latina poet and youth worker who has called DC home for the past 13 years. Currently Split This Rock’s Youth Programs Director, she has worked at Split This Rock for over six years, previously serving as the Youth Programs Assistant Coordinator and 2018 DC Youth Slam Team Head Coach. Chelsea believes in the power of poetry to create connection, shape change, and build power that can transform individuals and communities. With an academic background in English & Creative Writing focused on poetry, Chelsea has over eleven years of experience working in youth development. She applies her beliefs and experiences to cultivate spaces in which young people can thrive, lead, and empower their communities. In her free time, Chelsea finds joy and solace in listening to music and podcasts, stargazing and practicing astrology, having solo at-home dance parties, and writing.
Photo of Chelsea Iorlano above by Marcela Torres-Cervantes.
Alexandria Petrassi | Communications Director
Image Description of Photo of Alexandria Petrassi: Alexandria, a white person with brown eyes and long, dark brown curly hair worn half pulled back, faces forward and looks to the left with a small smile. She wears an oatmeal-colored sweater with a pocket on the right side with a lapis lazuli pendant necklace. The black strap of their bag is worn diagonally across their torso from their left shoulder to their right hip. In the background, there are many white twinkling orb lights against a black backdrop.
Alexandria Petrassi is a white queer poet and gardener, currently living outside of Washington, DC. Originally from Illinois, they received their BA in English & Creative Writing at Augustana College, where they served as a reader and then Co-Editor in Chief of SAGA Art & Literary Magazine. In 2016, they relocated to Virginia for their MFA in Poetry at George Mason University, where they served as Editor in Chief of So to Speak Journal and Lead Editorial Intern at Poetry Daily. Alexandria has worked as a digital communications specialist and copywriter in diverse content areas -- from DIY wedding crafts to health care. They have worked at Split This Rock since 2019, where she originally started as the Communications & Development Associate. Outside of Split This Rock, you can find Alexandria resting, writing, reading books & comics, cooking & enjoying food, playing board games, visiting green spaces, researching art & art history, traveling & exploring, and spending time with their partner & their dog. She is the winner of the 2018 Mary Roberts Rhinehart Award in Poetry, and her work has appeared in Bone Bouquet, SWWIM Every Day, CALAMITY, Crab Fat Magazine, and Sweet Tree Review, among others.
Photo of Alexandria Petrassi above by Benjamin Renne.
Gowri Koneswaran | Literary Arts Programs Director
Image Description of Gowri Koneswaran: Gowri is smiling at the camera while leaning against the base of a dark gray couch. Her right elbow is bent and her head is resting on her right hand. She has brown skin and shoulder length curly hair that is black and gray. She is wearing a gold nose ring, large circular gold earring, and thin gold chain. Her blouse is dark burgundy with gold print.
Gowri Koneswaran is a queer Eelam Tamil writer, performing artist, teacher, and lawyer. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Asian American Studies, Environmental Health Perspectives, Adi Magazine, Lantern Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Split This Rock's The Quarry, and The Margins. Her advocacy has addressed justice and accountability in Sri Lanka, the rights of prisoners and the criminally accused in the U.S., farmed animal welfare, and factory farming's environmental impacts. She is a senior legal officer with PEARL, a copy editor for The Abolitionist Newspaper, and a Kundiman fellow. She previously served as senior poetry editor at Jaggery, co-editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and poetry coordinator at BloomBars. The recipient of a Tanne Foundation Award, Gowri has performed her poetry at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Asian American Literature Festival, Capital Fringe Festival, SpokenWord Paris, and universities in the U.S. and Canada. Find more about Gowri at her website.
Photo of Gowri Koneswaran above by @jeevanportraits.