Turn Poetry Dreams Into Reality: Invest in Split This Rock
Split This Rock was born from the brilliant effort, community care, radical imagination, and creative genius of a small group of poet activists with a big dream. That dream has grown immensely since the organization’s founding in 2008, while Split This Rock’s internal resources and staffing level have barely changed. Earlier this year, the organization’s leaders decided that a programmatic pause was needed.
It’s time to tend to the field Split This Rock’s founders so tenderly seeded, making sure the soil from which we grow community engagement remains rich. We honor the legacy of our founders and the values that are core to the organization by arriving at this truth: programmatic rest is our bravest political action in this season.
On July 1, 2021, Split This Rock will enter a fallow season, and our usual schedule of programming and publishing will be on pause until April 1, 2022. We know this organization's value isn't only in its programmatic output, but in how it holds space, imagines change, and tends relationships among staff and community.
- Expanding paid opportunities for artists who teach, publish, and feature at Split This Rock, artists who are largely people of color and often alumni of the Youth Programs
- Bringing disability justice principles more fully into the center of the organization’s culture
- Cultivating a more supportive and attractive work environment for current and future staff, including increasing pay, benefits, and professional development opportunities
- Building a larger team of core staff to provide a more sustainable program model
- Adjusting the programmatic load as necessary to match the organization's staffing level
- Developing and practicing community agreements that center consent culture and accountability
Will you join us on our journey toward sustainability by making a one-time or monthly donation with Split This Rock's online giving portal? A monthly donation at any level increases stability and support for the work of fallow season.
To donate by mail, send a check payable to "Split This Rock" to Split This Rock, 1301 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 600, Washington DC 20036.
- Important Split This Rock Announcement: Fallow Season July 2021 - April 2022
- Sustain Split This Rock for the long haul + New Poem from Danez Smith! | A Letter from Split This Rock's Board
- Give Power to Poetry | A Letter from Split This Rock's Staff
SPLIT THIS ROCK NAMED ONE OF DC'S BEST SMALL CHARITIES
Give Today & Honor a Poet's Legacy!
In celebration of Split This Rock’s first decade 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. Permission granted by the Langston Hughes estate.
- June Jordan Circle ($5,000+): On the 10th anniversary of Jordan's passing, Split This Rock dedicated the 2012 Festival in her 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.