Split This Rock Poetry Festival is one of the best things to happen in American Literature in the last ten years. This festival, began in 2008, and held every two years in Washington, D.C. has drawn some of the country’s best poets for readings, workshops, community-buildling, and even public protest. Split This Rock is dedicated to finding a larger role for poets in public life, making sure the poets who speak up about issues of justice and peace are heard. This year’s festival takes place from March 27 to March 30 2014. I will be there and I hope you will too.
Split This Rock is the brain-and-heart-child of Sarah Browning. Sarah founded D.C. Poets Against the War back in 2003 and that group of engaged poets blossomed into Split This Rock. Besides the Festivals, which took place in 2008, 2010, 2012, and coming again in 2014, Split This Rock sponsors workshops, youth programs, a poem-of-the-week, and many more programs. What they do, with a small dedicated staff and a band of volunteers, is truly remarkable.
The 2014 Split This Rock Poetry Festival will be the best yet. Today, they announced many of their featured poets and the line-up is an all-star list. It includes Yusef Komunyakaa, Joy Harjo, Claudia Rankine, Tim Seibles, Myra Sklarew, Natalie Diaz, Eduardo C. Corral, Anne Waldman and many others. You can get more information about this terrific Festival at their website. They’re also on facebook and twitter, at @tweetthisrock.