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Franny Choi to Judge Split This Rock’s 2019 Sonia Sanchez-Langston Hughes Poetry Contest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 31, 2018

CONTACT: Sarah Browning, Executive Director, 202-787-5210,



Split This Rock’s 2019 Sonia Sanchez-Langston Hughes Poetry Contest, judged by Franny Choi, is open for submissions. Now in its 12th year, the annual poetry contest, renamed in 2017, serves to raise the visibility and prestige of poetry of provocation and witness. Winning poems are published on Split This Rock's website and in The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database. The 1st place recipient receives $500 and the 2nd and 3rd place recipients receive $250 each. All prize winners will receive free festival registration, and the 1st place recipient will be invited to read the winning poem at Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness 2020. The deadline to submit is November 1, 2018. Entry fee is $20, supporting Split This Rock’s work to bring poetry to the center of public life.

In an era when political leaders are advancing oppressive measures that put civil rights, the environment, and lives at risk, Split This Rock invites poets to respond with the power of their words. This national contest seeks poems that reach beyond the self to connect with the larger community or world; poems of provocation and witness. The theme can be interpreted broadly and may include but is not limited to work addressing politics, economics, government, war, leadership, issues of identity (gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, disability, socioeconomic class, body image, immigration, heritage, etc.), community, civic engagement, education, activism, history, Americana, and cultural icons. For full details on how to submit, visit Submittable or Split This Rock’s website.

Franny Choi is the author of Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014) and the forthcoming Soft Science (Alice James Books, 2019), as well as a chapbook, Death by Sex Machine (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). She has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and the Helen Zell Writers Program. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, the New England Review, and elsewhere. She is a Kundiman fellow, an Editor of News and Politics at Hyphen Magazine, co-host of the podcast VS, and member of the Dark Noise Collective. Franny headlined as a Featured Poet for Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2014.

About Split This Rock: Founded in 2008, Split This Rock cultivates, teaches, and celebrates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes personal and social change. It calls poets to the center of public life. Core programs are a biennial national poetry festival, city-wide youth programming, contests, readings, workshops, campaigns for social change, and an online database of social justice poems. The only one of its kind highlighting poetry at the intersection of the imagination and social change, Split This Rock Poetry Festival now attracts over 700 poets, activists, and dreamers to DC.

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