In cultivating a wide network of writers committed to socially engaged poetry, Split This Rock is constantly discovering and engaging with similarly minded journals and organizations. On the list below, you will find an evolving list of organizations that welcome socially engaged poetry and voices too often left out of the literary world’s dominant conversations. Split This Rock in no way considers this list to be finite or complete. We are always eager to learn of new literary organizations. Suggestions for future inclusions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to its website, Button Poetry aims to “showcase the power and diversity of voices” in the performance poetry community. Its programming includes producing and distributing videos of local and national poetry events, chapbooks, collaborative audio recordings, and scholarship and criticism. Button Poetry periodically calls submissions for contests; specific information can be found on its Submittable web page.
According to its website, “CantoMundo is a national organization that cultivates a community of Latina/o poets through workshops, symposia, and public readings.” It holds workshops at the University of Texas at Austin. Directions for applying to participate at the next CantoMundo retreat can be found on the organization’s Submission Guidelines web page.
Based in Brooklyn, NY, Cave Canem’s website describes the organization as such: “Founded by poets Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady in 1996 to remedy the under-representation and isolation of African American poets in the literary landscape, Cave Canem Foundation is a home for the many voices of African American poetry and is committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets.”
Name after Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright, the Hurston Wright Foundation is, according to its website, “a literary education institution committed to the development, dissemination and preservation of literature with a focus on the contributions of African American writers.” It partners with established authors and universities to bring workshops to young and developing Black writers.
From its website: “Kundiman is dedicated to the creation and cultivation of Asian American literature. Kundiman offers a comprehensive spectrum of arts programming that gives writers opportunities to inscribe their own stories, transforming and enriching the American literary landscape. Kundiman sees literature not only as vehicle for cultural expression but also as an instrument for political dialogue and self-empowerment.”
A Washington, DC-based literary organization, Lambda Literary, per its website, “believes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer literature is fundamental to the preservation of our culture, and that LGBTQ lives are affirmed when our stories are written, published and read.”
Letras Latinas is a blog of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies that works to amplify the awareness and study of Latino literature. The project is overseen by Francisco Aragón, Ae Hee Lee, and Roberto Cruz.
Based out of San Antonio’s Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, the Macondo Writers’ Workshop is an annual, five-day event that, according to its website, “seeks to support and unite writers who view their work and talents as part of a larger task of community-building and nonviolent social change.” It seeks to create a community among writers from a cross section of traditionally marginalized communities. Information about applying to enter the workshop can be found on the organization’s Apply web page.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Poetry Slam Inc., according to its website, “promote[s] the performance and creation of poetry while cultivating literary activities and spoken word events in order to build audience participation, stimulate creativity, awaken minds, foster education, inspire mentoring, encourage artistic statement and engage communities worldwide in the revelry of language.” The organization curates a list of periodic slam events across the U.S., which can be found on its Slam List web page.
VIDA is a research and advocacy organization that works to promote the visibility and appreciation of women’s intellectual and artistic output in the literary world. The organization is best known for its “VIDA Count,” in which it annually points to imbalances at major journals, publications, and press outlets in the inclusion and coverage of women’s literary work. In pointing out this unequal treatment, VIDA hopes to spur the equal promotion of women writers in the literary world, thereby assisting them in gaining access to grants, teaching positions, fellowships, and further publication opportunities.
Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA) is based out of the University of Miami at Coral Gables. It was founded by Junot Díaz, Victor Díaz, Elmaz Albinador, and Diem Jones in 1999 in order to support the growth of developing writers of color through writing programs and workshops taught by established writers of color.
According to its website, “TWH is a safe space for writers of color without regard for origin, age, gender, sexuality, varied abilities, or religion. In addition, we are equally a home for both written and spoken word artists--anyone who wants to grow in the craft.” It focuses specifically on poets of color and poets who write about the south, and offers retreats, residencies, and classes to help them improve their craft.
Worker Writers, an institute founded and directed by poet Mark Nowak, organizes and facilitates poetry workshops with global trade unions, workers’ centers, and other progressive labor organizations. These workshops create a space for participants to re-imagine their working lives, nurture new literary voices directly from the global working class, and produce new tactics and imagine new futures for working class social change
Begun in 2004 as a project to help touring poetry performers better market their material to wider audiences, Write Bloody is a publishing house that has printed 111 titles and 40 ebooks. Instructions for sending in work can be found on its Submissions web page.
Young Chicago Authors helps young people from all backgrounds to understand the importance of their own stories and those of others, so that they can pursue the path they choose and work to make their communities more just and equitable. The organization presents Louder Than A Bomb, an annual event hosting over 1,000 youth poets for a month of Olympic-style poetry bouts, workshops, and special events.
According to its website, Youth Speaks is among “the world’s leading presenters of Spoken Word performance, education, and youth development programs,” hosting slams, festivals, and reading series in an effort to encourage young people to develop their artistic voices. Youth Speaks is based in San Francisco but produces events nationally, including the annual Brave New Voices festival.