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The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database

WE’RE UPDATING THE DATABASE! In an effort to better equalize and represent the wide spectrum of gender identity and expression, we are revising The Quarry’s Gender/Sex options under the Poet Identity category. The process has begun! So, for a little while, two gender-related search categories will be available under Poet Identity: "Gender/Sex" (the old options) and "Category Under Construction" (the new options). We encourage you to use the Gender/Sex category until we’ve finished updating the database to receive the most consistent search results in the meantime. Once the update is complete, the Gender/Sex category will be removed entirely and replaced with a new category: Gender Identity.

The gender identity options in this update were assembled after research and consultation with a panel of LGBTQIA+ folks in community with Split This Rock. Each poet published in The Quarry was then invited to choose as many options from this new list as fit their identity. We realize that, even with this update, the list of options for this category is an approximation and may not hold all of what defines any of us. We also recognize that the conversation continues as terms shift and evolve. We will continue to implement updates as opportunities to do so emerge. Split This Rock staff extend our deepest gratitude to all who have offered recommendations and support to this process.

Thank you for your patience while we complete this work! If you have any questions about this update, please email Simone Roberts at


Welcome to The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database!

The Quarry is a searchable collection of over 500 poems by a diverse array of contemporary socially engaged poets, published by Split This Rock since 2009. Like all of Split This Rock’s programs, The Quarry is designed to bring poetry fully to the center of public life.

Searchable by social justice theme, author’s identity, state, and geographic region, The Quarry is a unique, rich resource.

Whether you are organizing for social justice, work as a teacher or social worker, or are planning a worship service or other public event, The Quarry offers poems that will inform and inspire you, your peers, and all with whom you work and collaborate.

Split This Rock celebrates the power of the imagination to transform the individual and society. Poems in The Quarry help us name injustices and grieve losses both personal and communal. They speak our rage and our resistance. And they imagine another world, one built on justice and with the power of love. We are so grateful to the brave, visionary poets for their words.

We invite you to explore The Quarry: use the tags at the bottom to let one poem lead you to another, get to know poets in your state or region, watch videos, luxuriate in these gorgeous, hurting, challenging, and comforting words. Split some rocks!

Share the Poems Widely But Please Give Credit

We encourage you to use and share these poems widely, and ask only that you credit the author and name Split This Rock’s The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database as the source. Please also include a direct link to the database for any reproduction of poems.

We'd love to hear how you use The Quarry. Please send your stories, questions, suggestions to Thank you!

About the Poems

Poems featured in The Quarry were originally published in Split This Rock’s Poem of the Week series or were winners of Split This Rock’s annual poetry contest or the Abortion Rights Poetry Contest, co-sponsored by the Abortion Care Network. Some of the poets have featured at Split This Rock’s biennial poetry festival and/or Sunday Kind of Love reading and open mic series. Others are members of the national Split This Rock community, Split This Rock teaching artists, members of the DC Youth Slam Team, and more. Sign up for the newsletter to receive the Poem of the Week in your inbox each Friday.