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Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2018 - Program & Schedule

Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness 2018 invites poets, writers, activists, and dreamers to Washington, DC for three days of poetry, community building, and creative transformation. The festival features readings, workshops, panel discussions, youth programming, parties, activism—opportunities to speak out for justice, build connection and community, and celebrate the many ways poetry can act as an agent for social change.

Early bird rates available until Friday, February 23. Online registration ends March 28. On-site registration available during the festival (see schedule for specific times).

Keep watch for when the festival mobile app goes live! You'll be able to download it to stay updated!

Click the links below to view each day's program. All venues are wheelchair accessible.

NOTE: Schedule below is subject to slight changes. 


Thursday, April 19


11 am - 12:30 pm

“Affirm, Ground & Heal, In that Order” (Workshop)
Presenter: Sequoya Hayes

Crossing Borders Before and After Now (Panel)
Presenters: Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, Sonia Guiñansaca, Barbara Jane Reyes, Javier Zamora

Quitting History! Poets Penning Liberation (Reading)
Presenters: Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Shauna M. Morgan, Enzo Silon Surin

Tributes to Poets Lost Since Split This Rock 2016 (Open Mic)
Hosted by Sarah Browning

Witnessing Your Own Work: Developing a Reading or Performance Style (Workshop)
Presenter: Rosamond S. King

1:30 - 3 pm

Arabic/English Poetry Game Workshop (Workshop)
Presenters: Zein El-Amine, Johnna Schmidt

Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology Book Launch (Reading & Discussion)
Presenters: Hayes Davis, Camille T. Dungy, Tiffany Higgins, Everett Hoagland, Elizabeth Jacobson, Nancy K. Pearson, Gretchen Primack, Katy Richey, Purvi Shah, Danez Smith, Melissa A. Tuckey, Javier Zamora 

Poetics of the Veteran Art Movement: Warrior Writers/Combat Paper (Panel)
Presenters: Kevin Basl, Lovella Calica, Anthony Torres

Seniors for Social Justice (Reading)
Presenters: Patsy Asuncion, John Guzlowski, Natalie Lobe, Amelia Williams

Sister Love: Celebrating the Letters between Pat Parker and Audre Lorde (Panel)
Presenters: Cheryl Clarke, Alexis De Veaux, Julie Enszer, Reginald Harris, JP Howard, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan

Wordplay: Poetry & Self-Advocacy for Youth with Autism (Workshop)
Presenter: Donnie Welch

3:30 - 5 pm

The Deaf Poets Society Reading (Reading)
Presenters: Hosted by Editors Sarah Katz and Natalie Illum with Carrie Addington, Jay Besemer, Camisha Jones, Gregory Luce, Naomi Thiers, others TBA

No More Masks? 45 Years of Women in Poetry (Panel)
Presenters: Sarah Browning (moderator), Elizabeth Acevedo, Ellen Bass, Sarah Browning, Solmaz Sharif

The Poet as Parent: Inoculating For and Against the World (Reading)
Presenters: Mario Chard, Camille T. Dungy, Erika Meitner, Phillip Metres, Maggie Smith, David Thacker

Shifting & Showing Cultures: A QTPOC Poetics Ritual (Panel)
Presenters: Kay Ulanday Barrett, Sonia Guiñansaca, Rajiv Mohabir, Alan Pelaez Lopez

Translators as Activists, Curators, and Cultural Interpreters (Panel)
Presenters: Francisco Aragón, Ilya Kaminsky, Aviya Kushner, Olga Livshin, Katherine Young

Writing Climate Change: Environmental Justice & the Power of Storytelling (Workshop)
Presenter: Devi Lockwood


Camille T. Dungy, Sharon Olds, Javier Zamora

National Housing Center
1201 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005 [Map]

Followed by a book signing. Books will be available for sale by Split This Rock partner Busboys & Poets Books.

10 pm - 12 am - OPEN MIC

Busboys and Poets, 5th & K, Cullen Room
1025 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001 [Map]

Open to the public. Free to festival registrants, $5 for all others.