Split This Rock cultivates, teaches, and celebrates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes social change.

1 March 2018 TopPage

This is the month!  10 years ago, Split This Rock was born. Here is Sister Sonia Sanchez invoking the ancestors on the first day of that first festival, March 20, 2008, welcoming the activist poets to Washington, DC, city of barricades, city of mambo sauce and Go Go music and poetry and Langston Hughes!

Image of Sonia Sanchez

All this month, and at Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness next month, April 19-21, we'll be celebrating this momentous anniversary and rededicating ourselves to poetry of provocation and witness.

Will you join us this March? 

Whether you're here in the DC area or in far-flung areas of our benighted land (or throughout the globe), there will be ways to participate as we honor our shared past and build a future together.

Split This Rock is also presenting March events as part of the national programming of the Poetry Coalition, of which we are a member. The initiative's 2018 theme is  Where My Dreaming and My Loving Live: Poetry & the Body. Learn more on the Coalition website.
Kick off the month in DC with  Sonya Renee Taylor, Founder and Radical Executive Officer of The Body is Not An Apology, as she leads Split This Rock's  FREE community workshop on March 7. Details on the  Facebook page .  

Then join us at AWP in Tampa  if you're headed there next week. Two big events are planned! There will be a  conference reading  on-site with Sarah Browning, Franny Choi, Dan Vera, and the Cornelius Eady Trio. Additionally, be part of an off-site book launch and celebration  of the much-anticipated, beautiful, necessary Ghost Fishing  eco-justice poetry anthology, edited by Split This Rock co-founder Melissa Tuckey .

The big anniversary week is March 17-24! 

As the first festival was March 20-23, this week will be the 10-year mark. And what a week it will be:
  • March 17, 5-7 pm - Youth Open Mic & DC Youth Slam Team Last Chance Slam Featuring Jeanann Verlee.
  • March 18, 5-8 pm - Special 10th Anniversary Sunday Kind of LoveJeanann Verlee & Lauren May will feature. We're extending Sunday Kind of Love an extra hour to celebrate - hosted by Regie Cabico. We will be screening videos of past festivals and inviting members of the community up on stage. Share your favorite story, poem, or reason why you support Split This Rock. Plus 10th anniversary cake! 
  • March 21, 6:30-8:30 pm - 10th Anniversary Community Writing Workshop , led by celeste doaks and  Katy Richey
  • March 24, 7-9 pm - DC Youth Slam Team Finals! 
See full details below. We hope you'll come out and add your voice to the festivities. 

Here's to the next 10 years!

Split This Rock


Catalogue for Philanthropy's one of the best small charities' logo

Split This Rock is featured in the Catalogue for Philanthropy as one of the best small charities in the Greater Washington region.  Visit Split This Rock's page to give today!


Split This Rock at AWP!
March 7-10, 2018

Next week, Split This Rock will celebrate its 10th anniversary year while at  AWP ( Association of Writers & Writing Programs)   Conference & Bookfair , March 7-10, at the Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside

Drop By Split This Rock's Book Fair Table #T603!

Image of merch including mug tshirt notecards haiku notecard
Visit Split This Rockers at Table # T603 in the Book Fair, where you can write a haiku post card to elected officials demanding gun control and buy a t-shirt, mug, or  note card (featuring beautiful artwork by Split This Rock co-chair Dan Vera and excerpts from poems in The Quarry). You can also enter  a raffle to win free registration to Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2018

Split This Rock 10th Anniversary Reading 
March 8, 10:30 am

On March 8, 10:30 am, join Split This Rock Executive Director Sarah Browning and  Board Co-Chair Dan Vera   in their last year of leadership, at the 10th  Anniversary Poetry Reading , together with  poets  Franny Choi Cornelius Eady , as well as musicians from the  Cornelius Eady trio, in the  Tampa Convention Center, F irst floor , Room 20 and 21

Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology 
Book Launch March 9, 5:30 pm

Book Cover of Ghost Fishing_ An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology
Whether you're attending AWP or not, if you're in the Tampa area on March 9, 5:30 pm, celebrate the exciting book launch of Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology and celebrate Split This Rock's 10th birthday at The Attic Cafe, hosted by editor and Split This Rock co-founder, Melissa Tuckey

Readers include Jennifer Atkinson, Sarah Browning, Camille Dungy, Kathy Engel, Jennifer Foerster, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Allison Hedge Coke, Tiffany Higgins, Brenda Hillman, Philip Metres, Lenard Moore, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Emmy PĂ©rez, Danez Smith, Pam Ushuck, Dan Vera, and Javier Zamora. This event is free, wheelchair accessible, and within walking distance of the convention center and conference hotel.  

View all of the AWP details on  Blog This Rock


Split This Rock Celebrates 10 Years!
Anniversary Week - Schedule of Events
March 17-24, 2018

This March marks 10 years of cultivating, teaching, and celebrating poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes change. 

Split This Rock's participation in the national  Poetry Coalition's  month-long series,  Where My Dreaming and My Loving Live: Poetry & the Body ,  coincides with this week of celebration. 


Image of Jeananne Verlee (on left) and DC Youth Slam Team Logo (on right)
Youth Open Mic & DC Youth Slam Team Last Chance Slam Featuring   Jeanann Verlee


On March 175 pm, the DC Youth Open Mic features renowned poet Jeanann Verlee, followed by a qualifying slam for the DCYST. Youth between the ages of 13 and 19 years old are eligible to compete for a spot on the team. Find more info and how to sign up to slam on the Facebook event page.


Special 10th Anniversary Sunday Kind of Love! 

Featuring Jeanann Verlee & Lauren May


Photo Collage of Lauren May (on left) and Jeanann Verlee (on right)

On March 18, 5 pm, we're extending Sunday Kind of Love Open Mic and Reading an extra hour to celebrate -

 hosted by Regie Cabico. We will be screening videos of past festivals and inviting members of the community up on stage. Share your favorite story, poem, or reason why you support Split This Rock. Plus 10th anniversary cake donated by Ravenhook Bakehouse! See full details below.


Free Community Writing Workshop

Facilitated by celeste doaks and Katy Richey


Photo collage of celeste doaks (on left) and Katy Richey (on right)

Members of The Black Ladies Brunch Collective, celeste doaks and Katy Richey, facilitate this special 10th anniversary writing workshop, March 21, 6:30 pmThe Black Ladies Brunch Collective is a group of Black women poets dedicated to creating spaces of joy and celebration as an act of resistance. All writing levels are welcome; no need to RSVP. Find out more info on the Facebook page


Finals of the DC Youth Slam Team

Image of Split This Rock Youth Programs Logo.

On March 24, 7-9 pm, the DC Youth Slam Finals will feature the previous three slam winners, Kenny Carroll, Gaelyn Smith, and Bobbi Johnson, at the Arena Stage in DC. Tickets will cost $20. Further details and ticket sales to come. Stay tuned!

The Sunday Kind of Love logo


Photo Collage of Lauren May (on left) and Jeanann Verlee (on right)

Sunday, March 18, 2018,  5-8 pm
Busboys and Poets 
Hosted by 
Sarah Browning and Katy Richey

Last hour of open mic hosted by 
Split This Rock co-founder Regie Cabico

$5 online or at the door (if available)
Tickets go on sale at midnight on March 18!

As always, open mic follows! 
Co-Sponsored by Busboys and Poets 
& Split This Rock 

The last hour of open mic is a celebration hour! 

In addition to screening videos of past festivals, we'll be inviting everyone to share their favorite Split This Rock story or poem!  Would you like a slot on the mic?  It could be anything that takes four minutes or less: A meaningful moment at a reading, festival, rally, or workshop. A poem by a Split This Rock poet that changed or inspired you. A poem of your own written from the fellowship you found with other Splitistas. Or perhaps you want to invite others to join you in supporting the organization. Just email Rasha Abdulhadi at rasha@splitthisrock.org to sign up in advance.

Learn more about Sunday Kind of Love on Split This Rock's  website.
Purchase tickets at Busboys and Poets' website.

Lauren May is a 21-year-old writer, artist, host, human rights advocate, and french fry enthusiast born in DC, raised in Maryland. An alumna of the award-winning DC Youth Slam Team, Lauren is part of Split This Rock's Ushindi Performance Group. She has featured as a guest speaker at MCASA's 10th Annual Women of Color Network Conference, the National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence, and The White House United State of Women Summit.

Jeanann Verlee is a 2017 NEA Poetry Fellow and the author of Said the Manic to the Muse ( Write Bloody Publishing, 2015) and Racing 
Hummingbirds  (2010), which was awarded a silver medal in the 
Independent Publisher Awards. Her third book, prey, was first runner-up for the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award and will be published by Black Lawrence Press in 2018. She received the Third Coast Poetry Prize and the Sandy Crimmins National Prize, and her work appears in Adroit, BOAAT, Rattle  
and BuzzFeed Reader, among others. Verlee has served as poetry editor for various publications, including Union Station Magazine and Winter Tangerine Review, in addition to a number of individual collections. The former director of Urbana Poetry Slam where she served as writing and performance coach, Verlee performs and facilitates workshops at schools, theatres, libraries, bookstores, and dive bars across North America. She collects tattoos and kisses Rottweilers. She believes in you. Find her at jeanannverlee.com.

Image of festival banner that says Split This Rock Poetry Festival Poems of Provocation and Witness, Washington, DC, April 19-21, 2018.
Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness 2018
April 19-21, 2018 

Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness (April 19-21, 2018) invites poets, activists, poetry lovers, and dreamers to Washington, DC for three days of readings, workshops, panel discussions, youth programming, activism.  Celebrating Split This Rock's 10th anniversary , the festival will feature some of the most significant and artistically vibrant poets today, including Elizabeth
Acevedo, Kazim Ali, Ellen Bass, Sherwin Bitsui, Kwame Dawes
Camille T. Dungy, Ilya Kaminsky, Sharon Olds, Sonia Sanchez,
Solmaz Sharif, Terisa Siagatonu, Paul Tran, and Javier Zamora!

To stay informed, visit Split This Rock's website.     

Support Split This Rock 
With your support, Split This Rock can raise the platform for  poetry of provocation and witness and amplify the voices of poets of all ages who write and perform this vital work. Donations are fully tax-deductible.
Split This Rock engages poetry as an agent for change: to answer hate, reach across differences, assert the centrality of the right to free speech, bear witness to the diversity and complexity of human experience, imagine and build a better world.

Here are a few ways your donation makes a difference:  
  • $25 provides refreshments for a FREE writing workshop or youth event
  • $50 invests in our efforts to provide free poetry lesson plans to DC educators
  • $100 provides an ASL interpreter for 1 hour, helping to make a poetry event accessible to the D/deaf & hard of hearing community
  • $250 sends a dynamic Teaching Artist into a DC area school for two weeks at no cost to the school 
  • $500 sends one member of the DC Youth Slam Team to Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, helping defray the cost of registration, travel, lodging, and food

Visit Split This Rock's online giving platform to donate!
To mail your giftsend a check payable to "Split This Rock" to: Split This Rock, 1301 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036. Many thanks!

Contact  info@splitthisrock.org  for more information.