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Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness 2020

Join Us: March 26-28, 2020 in Washington, DC

Online Registration is OPEN until Friday, February 28, 2020. Register Today.
Early Bird Rates are available until Friday, January 31, 2020.

In a high stakes election year, we gather to combat despair and take action in the midst of it, to celebrate communities targeted by violence, to imagine what it means to thrive in the midst of struggle, and to be equipped as artists living at the center of public life and social change. Join us to invoke poetry for liberation and against repressive forces that would have us divided.

Every two years, Split This Rock Poetry Festival calls poets, writers, educators, activists, and scholars together for three days of readings, workshops, panel discussions, youth programming, open mics, and activism -- plus, a book fair! Featuring some of the most socially significant and artistically vibrant poets today, the Festival offers opportunities to speak boldly for justice, build connections and community, and celebrate the many ways poetry can be a practice for social change.

We're thrilled to announce the 2020 Festival Featured Poets: Cameron Awkward-Rich, Emmy Pérez, Eve L. Ewing, Justice Ameer, Kimberly Blaeser, Kyle Dargan, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Mahogany L. Browne, Marilyn Chin, Safia Elhillo, Sandra Cisneros, Trevino Brings Plenty, and the Youth Poets Laureate Azura Tyabji, Maren Wright, and Jackson Neal!

Collage of images from Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2018 which includes images of people smiling, embracing, and applauding at various festival activities.







We are thrilled to announce that Festival daytime activities will be held in one venue for the first time ever! Workshops, panels, readings, and the book fair will be held at George Washington University's Cloyd Heck Marvin Center, located at 800 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20052. The Marvin Center will also serve as the Festival hub, hosting on-site registration and check-in for pre-registered attendees. For more information, please visit the Festival Venues web page

Sponsor the Festival

Show your support for socially engaged poetry by becoming a sponsor for the Festival. Showcase your organization or institution on Festival print and promotional materials, while helping to cover costs! A range of giving levels are available. Sponsorship comes with unique perks and is a powerful show of solidarity, bringing poetry to the center of public life where it belongs. Visit Split This Rock's Festival Sponsorship web page or the online form for an overview of options.


Accessibility is a core value for Split This Rock. We strive to provide programs, materials, and communication that allow people within the disability community to engage fully. All the Festival's venues are wheelchair accessible. Large print program books will be available at the Festival by request. Featured Poet readings will include ASL interpreters. We urge all attendees to help keep the Festival spaces fragrance free. Alternate means for registration are available for anyone who finds online forms to be inaccessible. A more detailed description of Festival accessibility can be found at Split This Rock's Festival Accessibility web page. If you have questions, suggestions, or an accommodation request, please contact us at or call 202-787-5210.

Volunteer & Receive Free Festival Registration - Apply by January 31, 2020!

We depend on volunteers to make the Festival a success! People who help for 3 1/2 hours or more receive free registration to the Festival. Visit Submittable to send in your application to volunteer at the Festival. If Submittable is not accessible to you, visit Split This Rock's Festival Volunteer web page for alternate application instructions. Spots are limited -- apply by January 31, 2020!

Registration Subsidy Fund - Apply by February 21, 2020!

Split This Rock is happy to offer subsidy fund awards to cover the cost of registration for people who would not otherwise be able to attend Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2020. Applications may be submitted online via Submittable. If Submittable is not accessible to you, visit Split This Rock's Registration Subsidy Fund web page for instructions to apply by mail or email. For further information, contact us at or 202-787-5210.

Group Rates

For information on special rates for groups of 10 or more, please contact us at 202-787-5210 or

For More Information

If you have questions, contact us at or 202-787-5210.

More to Come -- Stay Tuned!

Subscribe to Split This Rock's newsletter for more news on featured poets, venues, book fair registration, and sponsorship opportunities -- all coming soon! Get excited for Poetry Festival 2020 by visiting Split This Rock's YouTube channel for videos from past festivals.