Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Call for Proposals: 2014 Festival

Split This Rock Poetry Festival: 
Poems of Provocation & Witness 2014

Panel & Roundtable Discussions, Workshops, & Themed Group Readings

DEADLINE: JUNE 30, 2013 
Submit via our online form: 

Split This Rock invites proposals for panel and roundtable discussions, workshops, and themed group readings for our fourth national poetry festival, scheduled for March 27-30, 2014, in Washington, DC.

The pioneering poet and activist Adrienne Rich, who died just a few days after the last Split This Rock Poetry Festival, wrote: When poetry lays its hand on our shoulder... we are to an almost physical degree, touched and moved. The imagination's roads open before us, giving the lie to that slammed and bolted door, that razor-wired fence, that brute dictum There is no alternative.

With our world crying out for alternatives, and in honor of Adrienne Rich, we welcome proposals that help us travel the imagination's roads: What is this new world to which we are traveling? How are poets and activists using poetry to get us there? 

We are especially interested in proposals that share lessons from innovative projects at the intersection of poetry and social change; that draw road maps based on the teachings of our foremothers and fathers, living and dead; that help us cross boundaries of all kinds that might be blocking our way along the imagination's highway.

We invite you to read over the schedules of the first three festivals to get a sense of the broad range of topics and approaches that appeal to organizers. Visit and click on previous festivals' "Program & Schedule" tabs.

 Sonia Sanchez Split This Rock 2008 Opening
Split This Rock Poetry Festival: 
Poems of Provocation & Witness
March 27-30, 2014, Washington, DC

Split This Rock calls poets to a greater role in public life and fosters a national network of socially engaged poets. Building the audience for poetry of provocation and witness from our home in the nation's capital, we celebrate poetic diversity and the transformative power of the imagination.

Split This Rock Poetry Festival invites poets, writers, and activists to Washington, DC, for four days of poetry, community building, and creative transformation. The festival will feature readings, workshops, panel discussions, youth programming, activism - opportunities to imagine a way forward, hone our activist skills, and explore the many ways that poetry can act as an agent for social change. Learn more about Split This Rock and the festival at


Panels/Roundtables - A panel or discussion may consist of 3-4 persons, with one person designated as facilitator. Please tell us what questions you wish to explore: why is this conversation timely and necessary, how will this panel further the goals of Split This Rock? How are the members of your panel uniquely qualified to lead a conversation on your proposed topic? We have a strong interest in interactive conversation and community building, so please describe how you will involve participants in the discussion. 

Workshops - Please tell us exactly what you have in mind for activities and how participants will benefit both at the festival and afterwards. A workshop may be led by one person or collaboratively.

Themed Group Readings - Readings might showcase voices or perspectives that could otherwise be missing from the festival program. Please tell us if there is a coherent theme or organizing principle for your reading that makes it a natural fit for Split This Rock.


This year we have switched to an online submission platform. Simply go to and click on the "2014 Festival Panel Proposals" category to submit!   

Please title your proposed event, include brief biographical information for each participant, and provide a description of your event, using the online form.

Please note: Panel presenters must register for Split This Rock Poetry Festival. (Past festival registration has been only $75, with a student rate of $40. Given the ongoing recession, we are hopeful that we won't have to raise rates in 2014.) Scholarships will be available so that all may participate.

There is no limit to the number of proposals you may send, but be sure all proposed presenters have agreed to be part of your panel before you send it to us. Take time to develop your proposal and bear in mind that this is a very competitive process. (In the past we've had to turn away many strong proposals.) We value diversity within the panels, creative ways of interacting, ideas that are new to us. We also value history. Take a look at the schedules of the past three festivals to see what kind of discussions have taken place in the past.

One final note: Split This Rock has a small staff without a lot of time for double-checking information. Please follow these instructions carefully. Remember:
  • Give your proposed event a meaningful name.
  • Provide FULL contact information for all your panelists/facilitators.
  • Remind all panelists/facilitators that they will have to register. Generous scholarship funds will be available; we will post a simple scholarship application when festival registration opens.
  • We regret that we don't have funds to pay panelists and workshop leaders.

Questions? Email us at We look forward to reading your proposal! 

1 comment:

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