Tuesday, June 30, 2009

2010 Poets and Contest Winners Announced!

Split This Rock Poetry Festival, March 10-13, 2010, will feature a diverse array of some of the finest poets writing at the intersection of imagination and social change.

Featured at Split This Rock's second festival will be Chris Abani, Lillian Allen (pictured), Sinan Antoon, Francisco Aragón, Jan Beatty, Martha Collins, Cornelius Eady, Martín Espada, Andrea Gibson, Allison Hedge Coke, Natalie Illum, Fady Joudah, Toni Asante Lightfoot, Richard McCann, Jeffrey McDaniel, Lenelle Moïse, Nancy Morejón, Mark Nowak, Wang Ping, Patricia Smith, A.B. Spellman, Arthur Sze, and Bruce Weigl.

As usual, diversity of all kinds is a top priority at Split This Rock. As at the first festival, Split This Rock 2010 will feature performance poets, experimental poets, lyrical poets, and narrative poets. Poets of color are in the majority. There are gay and lesbian poets, poets of working-class origin, and poets with disabilities. The list includes international voices, with poets from Canada, Cuba, Nigeria, Iraq, and China, as well as DC poets who write and work in our own community. And we're pleased to bring back two popular poets from the first festival, Martín Espada and Patricia Smith.

All 23 of these poets are in the world, are poet-citizens in a variety of ways. Lillian Allen is an originator of dub poetry and a leader on diversity and culture in Canada. Fady Joudah was a field doctor with Doctors Without Borders. Cornelius Eady is a founder of Cave Canem, the organization for African American poets. Jan Beatty has worked as a welfare caseworker and an abortion counselor. Mark Nowak facilitates "poetry dialogues" with Ford autoworkers in the US and South Africa. These are just a few examples. Check out the website for more on these critical voices.

We'll also be profiling them and reviewing their books on Blog This Rock in the coming months, so keep an eye out here.

Save the date: March 10-13, 2010. This is a festival you won't want to miss!

2009 Split This Rock Poetry Contest Results

First Place: "River, Page" written by Teresa J. Scollon, Traverse City, MI.

Second Place:
"The Center for the Intrepid" by Jenny Browne, San Antonio, Texas.

Third Place: "Femincide/ Fimicidio- The Murdered and Disappeared Women of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico" by Demetrice Anntia Worley, Peoria, Illinois.

We are very grateful to this year's judge Patricia Smith and to all who supported Split This Rock by entering the contest. The competition was tough - it is heartening to see the poets continuing to write their poems for a better world. Thank you.

The winning poems will be posted soon on Split This Rock's web site. Stay tuned!

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