Monday, July 13, 2015

2016 Poetry Contest

Announcing the 9th Annual Split This Rock Poetry Contest

Judged by: Rigoberto González

Photo by Marion Ettlinger

Benefits Split This Rock Poetry Festival
April 14-17, 2016
$1,000 Awarded for poems of provocation & witness


PRIZES: First place $500; 2nd and 3rd place, $250 each. 

First place recipient receives $500 and the opportunity to read the selected poem at Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2016; second and third place receive $250 each. All three winners receive 2016 festival registration and their poems will be published at and within The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database. Up to three honorable mentions will be selected.  

DEADLINE: November 1, 2015

READING FEE: $20, which supports Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2016.

Themes: Submissions should be in the spirit of Split This Rock: socially engaged poems, poems that reach beyond the self to connect with the larger community or world; poems of provocation and witness. This theme can be interpreted broadly and may include but is not limited to work addressing politics, economics, government, war, leadership; issues of identity (gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, disability, body image, immigration, heritage, etc.); community, civic engagement, education, activism; and poems about history, Americana, cultural icons. Visit Split This Rock's website to read 2015 and other past winning poems if you are still unclear regarding themes.

Ethics: Split This Rock subscribes to the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses Contest Code of Ethics. Read it online here.


If Submittable is not accessible to you, please contact us at or (202) 787-5210 for instructions on how to email your submission to us. It is important that we know about your situation before receiving your mailed or emailed entry. Please allow sufficient time for your submission to be received.

Rigoberto González is author of four books of poetry, most recently Unpeopled Eden, which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His ten books of prose include bilingual children's books, young adult novels, and Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, which received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. He edited Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing and Alurista's new Xicano Duende: A Select Anthology. The recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and many other accolades, he is professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey. In 2015, he received The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle. 


Submit up to 3 unpublished poems, no more than 6 pages total, no more than 1 poem per page, in any style, in the spirit of Split This Rock (see above). Visit Split This Rock's Submittable page for instructions.

What we mean by “unpublished”: We accept only poems that have not yet been included in a publication with an ISBN number or online via a juried journal or website. If your poem is selected and it is posted on social media, we ask that you take it down prior to our publishing contest results.

We read blind. Please do not put your name or contact information on the document you upload to Submittable or within its title or your poems will be in jeopardy of being disqualified.

Simultaneous submissions are OK, but please notify us immediately if the poem is accepted elsewhere.

Late entries will not be accepted.

Submissions need to be received by 11:59pm on November 1, 2015, Eastern Standard Time.

Close friends, relatives, students, and former students of the judge are excluded from the contest. Likewise, the current Board of Directors, staff, teaching artists, and DC Slam Team of Split This Rock are excluded, as are members of their immediate families. (For more detail: visit the code of ethics on our website.)

Mailed and Emailed Submissions: Except for special circumstances we are aware of in advance, we do not accept mailed submissions.

We encourage you to submit before the November 1 deadline so that if you encounter problems we can assist you.

Please contact us directly if you are unable to access Submittable at 
(202) 787-5210 or 

For more information:   

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