Split This Rock Poetry Festival

Location:  Washington, DC
Project Description: 

The Split This Rock Poetry Festival explores and celebrates the many ways that poetry can act as an agent for change: reaching across differences, considering personal and social responsibility, asserting the centrality of the right to free speech, bearing witness to the diversity and complexity of human experience through language, imagining a better world. In addition to its annual festival, Split This Rock initiates and collaborates on projects that engage poets and writers in advocacy and creative political expression including Haiku Postcards to the President and Speak Art to Power--a week of creative protest against war and social injustice. It collaborates with the Institute for Policy Studies on an occasional basis to bring poets and social justice advocates together in "think tank" brown bag events open to the public. Today, at a critical juncture in our country’s history, poetry that gives voice to the voiceless, names the unnamable, and speaks directly from the individual and collective conscience is more important than ever. Split This Rock believes that poets have a unique role to play in social movements as innovators, visionaries, truth tellers, and restorers of language. The Festival’s intent is twofold: to celebrate the poetry of witness and provocation being written, published, and performed in the United States today, and to call poets to a greater role in public life and equip them with the tools they need to be effective advocates in their communities and the nation.