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

SAVE THE DATE: March 26-28, 2020

We’re thrilled to announce Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2020 will be held on March 26-28, 2020 in Washington, DC!

Every two years, poets, activists, educators, and beloved community come together in the nation's capital for Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness, a three-day gathering full of readings, workshops, discussions, youth voices, a book fair, and activism. Featuring some of the most socially significant and artistically vibrant poets today, the festival offers opportunities to speak boldly for justice, build connection and community, and celebrate the many ways poetry can be a practice for social change. Split This Rock Poetry Festival is DC's premiere poetry event and the only festival of its kind in the country, highlighting poets working at the intersection of the imagination and social change.

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







Now Accepting Session Proposals!

DUE DATE EXTENDED: Submit by July 31, 2019, 11:59 pm PDT

The form to submit session proposals for Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2020 is now live. Proposals will now be accepted through July 31, 2019, 11:59 pm (PDT). Send your ideas for workshops, readings, panel discussions, or hybrid session formats. Have a successful session you've shared in another community, or something that's never been accepted before? Send both of those proposals our way!

Given that 2020 is an election year, the Festival curation team welcomes proposals that combat despair or take action in the midst of it, learn across generations, celebrate communities targeted by violence, imagine what it means to thrive in the midst of struggle, and equip us as artists to live at the center of public life and social change. We want to learn how you've invoked poetry to work against repressive regimes and for liberation.

Split This Rock values diversity in methods and content, including creative ways of learning together and ideas that challenge the status quo. The Festival curation team welcomes proposals on topics and from presenters whose work is historically underrepresented in literary spaces, including but not limited to sessions focused on Indigenous & Native lives, disability justice, trans liberation, reproductive rights, immigration justice, health care access, dismantling white supremacy, poverty and economic inequality, and environmental justice. For examples of how to craft session proposals, refer to session listings from previous festivals on Split This Rock's website.

How to Submit & Accessible Instructions

Visit Submittable to propose a session. If the form is not accessible to you, an accessible Word document that includes instructions for how to submit a session proposal can be downloaded here. For other questions or requests related to accessibility, please contact us at or 202-787-5210.

More to Come -- Stay Tuned!

Sign up for 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.