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Donate to Split This Rock

Photo of a woman on a stage outside at a microphone. She is looking hopeful and her face looks toward the sky. There's a quote by E. Ethelbert Miller that says: Split This Rock is a movement… reflective of history’s soundtrack. Seldom do we find such a diverse group of poets coming together to lift every voice and sing. Split This Rock is responsible for the obituary of silence. It's a good thing when poets come together in celebration to reaffirm everything that is Yes in the world.

Split This Rock is a grassroots effort—a people’s movement begun in 2008 with the very first Split This Rock Poetry Festival, an outgrowth of DC Poets Against the War. Thanks largely to the support and participation of so many of you, the first Split This Rock Poetry festivals were tremendously successful. You—and many others—asked us to make the festival a regular event and to build Split This Rock into a permanent home for progressive poets. We've been building on that vision ever since and there's so much more to do!  To reach our programming goals, we'll need your involvement. Would you invest in Split This Rock today?
We hope you'll lend your support. With your help, we can continue cultivating Split This Rock as an organization that genuinely represents the diversity of progressive poets working in all areas of our country and in all poetic styles today. We're excited about the opportunities to improve and grow but it takes resources to get us there. Be part of making it happen! INVEST IN THE POWER OF POETRY TODAY!

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Help Split This Rock Take Bold Steps in 2019!

Split This Rock's 2018 Year End Fundraising Cammpaign is underway! Visit the campaign's webpage to learn how you can get involved and help the organization reach its three goals: 1) Recruit 25 people to launch online fundraisers; 2) Add 15 new monthly donors for a total of 40; and 3) Raise $40,000. Thanks to everyone who has spread the word about Split This Rock's work, donated, and launched fundraisers on our behalf. Read these special messages:

Be sure to stay tuned as this year's campaign also offers exciting perks and giveaways!


The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation has again given Split This Rock a tremendous vote of confidence: They will match every donation from a new supporter or increased gift from an existing donor, up to $10,000.

Give Today & Honor a Poet's Legacy!

In celebration of Split This Rock’s first 10 years and to inspire support for the years to come, we have named Giving Circles in honor of poets who have inspired, supported, and helped to shape Split This Rock’s work. When you give, you build on their legacy. You can now give to honor following poets:

  • Langston Hughes Circle ($10,000): Split This Rock’s name is drawn from the Hughes’ poem “Big Buddy”: Don’t you hear this hammer ring?/I’m gonna split this rock/And split it wide!/When I split this rock,/Stand by my side.
  • June Jordan Circle ($5,000+): On the 10th anniversary of her death Split This Rock dedicated the 2012 Festival in June’s memory. Her poetry, prose, and teaching continue to inspire and animate Split This Rock’s work.
  • Adrienne Rich Circle ($1,000+): Moved by the vision for Split This Rock, Adrienne sent Split This Rock’s founders a powerful letter of endorsement and a check for $1,000 to support the first festival.
  • Lucille Clifton Circle ($500+): One of the first poets to say “yes” to featuring at the 2008 festival, Ms. Lucille, as she's fondly known, sadly was unable to attend due to illness. Split This Rock paid tribute to her at the 2010 festival, a month after her death. In her memory, her family has made the inaugural gift to the Lucille Clifton Circle.
  • Francisco X. Alarcón Circle ($250+): A faithful attendee at Split This Rock Poetry Festivals, Francisco spearheaded Poets Responding to SB 1070, often partnering with Split This Rock, and worked tirelessly for immigration justice.
  • Zahara Heckscher Circle ($100+): An active member of Split This Rock’s network, Zahara invented the Poetry Game, presenting it at festivals and designating a portion of proceeds to supporting Split This Rock.
  • Maxwell Corydon Wheat Jr. Circle ($1-99): After being fired as Poet Laureate of Nassau County, NY for writing poems against the Iraq War, Max was declared Poet Laureate by the community’s poets. An attendee and panelist at Split This Rock’s first festival, Max mailed $5 checks to Split This Rock every month until his death in 2016.

20172018 Logo for Catalogue for PhilanthropySPLIT THIS ROCK NAMED ONE OF DC'S BEST SMALL CHARITIES

Split This Rock is featured in the 2017-2018 Catalogue for Philanthropy as one of the best small charities in the Greater Washington region. Visit Split This Rock's page to give today! Donations given through the Catalogue portal incur the lowest transaction fees.


Here are just a few ways your contribution can help.

$25 can...

  • provide refreshments for FREE bi-monthly poetry writing workshops
  • cover the cost of supplies for one social justice action, such as Split This Rock's Department of Justice poem drop in support of the Black Lives Matter movement
  • purchase postage to send haiku postcards that include messages from Splittistas to the POTUS

$50 can...

  • support marketing and PR efforts to spread the word about Split This Rock events & programs nationally
  • help pay a stipend for a featured poet at the monthly Sunday Kind of Love Reading & Open Mic Series in partnership with Busboys and Poets
  • provide support in purchasing necessary workshop materials such as name tags, markers, and easel paper

$100 can...

  • help to hire professionals to videotape or photograph a one hour poetry event so the fabulosity can be shared nationally
  • allow us to award first prize to a poem that destroys the stigma around reproductive rights through the Abortion Rights Poetry Contest
  • assist us in hosting a guest poet in support of special events such as the Fall for the Book Festival at George Mason University

$250 can...

  • help provide ASL interpreteration for 2 hours, making a poetry event accessible to the D/deaf & hard of hearing community
  • allow us to hire a work study student from a local college to support programming such as Split This Rock's Eco-Justice Anthology Project
  • enable us to provide a scholarship to a team of youth poets to participate in Louder Than a Bomb DMV Teen Poetry Slam Festival

$500 can...

  • fund first prize for an incredible socially engaged poem submitted to Split This Rock's Annual Poetry Contest
  • provide one month's stipend for a Fellow or intern position, increasing Split This Rock's capacity to manage the programmatic load
  • help us send a dynamic teaching artist into a DC-area school or afterschool poetry program for one month and pay them!

$1000 can...

  • help make it possible for the DC Youth Slam Team and their coaches to annually participate in Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival by defraying the cost of registration, travel, lodging, and food
  • assist us in renting an accessible venue large enough for a signature event such as Split This Rock Poetry Festival or the DC Youth Slam Team Finals
  • make it possible for staff to travel out of state to bring Split This Rock magic to others around the country

Every dollar given enables us to raise the platform higher for poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes change.


The work of Split This Rock depends on a strong financial foundation. Your tax-deductible funds and support enable us to: organize a unique national biennial poetry festival, two youth poetry slam festivals, as well as other public workshops, open mics, readings, and events; foster opportunities for poets to participate in creative activism for social justice and peace; support the growth and voices of teen poets by exposing them to extraordinary adult artists as mentors; offer DC area teachers lesson plans that make poetry an engaging and relevant part of their curriculum; celebrate and award the outstanding work of poets combining poetry and activism; and provide resources that inform and inspire poets, equipping them to play an active role as public citizens.

Gifts of any size are deeply appreciated. We hope you'll consider giving $50, $100, or more. Everyone who donates will be thanked on the website. And if you’re able to give $100 or more, you’ll be thanked in the 2018 Split This Rock Festival program or other printed materials. Click the "Donate Now" heart or the heading above to give online.

Photo of a young man's back as he stands on stage facing a crowd with this quote by Ayinde Grimes: Without Split This Rock, I would not [have received] any scholarships for college.  I would not have had a job last summer.  I want every child who was told that they were not smart enough, they couldn't focus, they come from nothing and will be nothing, to know that there are places for you to find your voice, I would recommend Split This Rock and the DC Youth Slam Team.

Or send a check made out to “Split This Rock,” to:

Split This Rock
1301 Connecticut Ave, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036

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Thank You!



Top photo by Kristin Adair.