Split This Rock cultivates, teaches, and celebrates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes social change. Year-round, thousands of people attend and participate in readings, writing workshops, slams, open mics, and other events that give voice to the voiceless and insist on equal rights for all. After-school poetry clubs, performance and writing workshops, youth slams and festivals reach young people across the region, and in-depth arts training and leadership programs (including the award-winning DC Youth Slam Team) immerse young poets in the craft, teaching them to tackle injustice through creative expression. At the biennial Split This Rock Poetry Festival, writers from around the world converge on DC for three days of readings, workshops, discussions, youth voices, and activism. Most programs are free, including those in DC area schools, and scholarships make even modestly priced events affordable. You can contribute your voice – and support – to the cause.
After the cancellation of the national Poetry Festival in March, staff adapted workshops, featured readings, a bookfair, open mic, and the weekly newsletter to virtual formats. It has prioritized paying artists who have lost income from cancelled events and school programs. With schools still closed, it has combined virtual group workshops with 1-on-1 mentorship for youth poets. The team is assessing ways to offer large group experiences to fill the role of the 3 annual youth poetry festivals and the next national Poetry Festival in 2022.