An Evening of Conversation and Poetry with Camisha Jones and Danez Smith
At the end of July, our dear colleague Camisha Jones, Managing Director at Split This Rock, shared the news of her transition out of the organization. Camisha's near decade of work has been pivotal in the evolution of Split This Rock's literary programs. Her creativity and commitment to justice has radiated through her leadership – from her innovation of Split This Rock’s curatorial practices and her leadership in the organization’s efforts to more deeply embody Disability Justice principles, to her program planning that has brought the community some of it's most beloved Split This Rock experiences, from the Poem of the Week Series to the Split This Rock Poetry Festival. We are deeply grateful and honored to have worked alongside Camisha. Her wisdom, kindness, humor, thoughtfulness, and fire have brought so much joy and meaning to our collaborations. While we will miss her presence and leadership at Split This Rock, we are thrilled to celebrate her next moves – the first of which is being named a 2022 Disability Futures Fellow!
Split This Rock’s work will carry on more inclusive, just, and thoughtful for Camisha’s time at the organization. Camisha leaves a legacy we are committed to stewarding, celebrating, and building upon. We hope you will join us in uplifting Camisha’s work by sending notes of celebration and tuning in to an evening of conversation and poetry with Camisha and Danez Smith. Read on below for more information about the event and mark your calendars! If you’d like to express gratitude to and celebrate Camisha, please reply to this email or send a note to email@example.com.
Last, but not least – we’re excited to announce that Split This Rock will be hiring for two full-time positions soon. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks. We’re looking forward to welcoming some new faces to our team!
With gratitude and excitement,
Chelsea Iorlano and Alexandria Petrassi
Image Description of Staff Photos: Collage of Split This Rock staff members Chelsea Iorlano and Alexandria Petrassi. Chelsea wears a brightly colored, striped rebozo, gold hoop earrings, and a flower in her hair. Alexandria wears a light blue dress with white embroidery, a gray and black knit sweater, and a moon necklace. In both photos, Chelsea and Alexandria are outdoors and smiling.
Tuesday, August 16, 2022, 6-6:45 pm ET
Image Description: Photos of Camisha Jones and Danez Smith. Camisha Jones smiles while sitting outside in a park. She has brown skin and her hair is styled in two-strand twists. She wears glasses, dangling earrings decorated with jewel-toned stones, a necklace, and a v-neck purple dress. Danez Smith wears a mint green t-shirt and a gold necklace. They hold both hands behind their head and laugh with their eyes closed.
Join us for a live-streamed conversation and poetry reading with outgoing Managing Director Camisha Jones and Board Member Danez Smith to celebrate Camisha’s leadership and impact at Split This Rock! Learn more about Camisha and Danez below.
Tune in to the live-streamed event on Split This Rock's YouTube channel! You can turn on a reminder to receive a notification through YouTube when the event is about to start.
Accessibility: ASL interpretation and CART service will be available. Visual descriptions will be shared by each speaker and effort will be made to identify who's speaking throughout the program. If images are shown, verbal descriptions will also be shared. If you have other accommodation requests, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are committed to doing all we can to make this an accessible virtual experience. Given time constraints and other limitations, receiving accommodation emails as early as possible will give us the best opportunity to fulfill requests. After the conversation is live-streamed, a captioned recording will be prepared and available via YouTube.
About The Poets
Camisha L. Jones has served as Split This Rock’s Managing Director since November 2013. During her tenure she has also organized four biennial poetry festivals, served as an editor for the Poem of the Week Series and a curator for the Sunday Kind of Love Reading & Open Mic Series, launched a bi-monthly writing workshop series, and worked diligently to expand the organization's commitment to accessibility and disability justice. She has close to 30 years’ experience organizing and leading programs, gatherings, and people at nonprofits and institutions of higher education.
Camisha is the author of Flare (Finishing Line Press, 2017), a poetry chapbook focused largely on her experiences with hearing loss and chronic pain. Her poems have been published in The New York Times, Poets.org, Button Poetry, The Deaf Poets Society, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Typo, The Quarry, and elsewhere. Other writing can be found at VIDA: Women in Literary Arts’ website and Class Lives: Stories From Across Our Economic Divide, published by ILR Press in 2014.
Camisha is a 2022 Disability Futures Fellow, Franklin & Marshall College’s 2017 Lapine Poetry Fellow, and one of the Loft Literary Center’s 2017 Spoken Word Immersion Fellows. She competed at the 2013 National Poetry Slam on behalf of Slam Richmond. She is a co-editor for a forthcoming anthology of disability poetry with Travis Chi Wing Lau, Naomi Ortiz, and Michael Northen.
Danez Smith is a Black, Queer, Poz writer & performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of Homie (Graywolf Press, 2020), Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award, and [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, Cave Canem, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Danez's work has been featured widely including on Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, the 2020 Pushcart Prize Anthology, on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Danez is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and was the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness. Learn more at Danez's website.