Thursday, June 25, 2009

Last Call For Panel Proposals!

Call for Proposals: Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2010

Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness invites poets, writers, activists, and all concerned citizens to Washington, DC, March 10-13, 2010 for four days of poetry, community building, and creative transformation as our country continues to grapple with two wars, a crippling economic crisis, and other social and environmental ills.

We invite you to send proposals for panel discussions, group readings, roundtable discussions, workshops, and small-scale performances on a range of topics at the intersection of poetry and social change. Possibilities are endless. Challenge us.

The deadline is JUNE 30, 2009.

Last years panels included:
Crip Poetry: A Culture of Disability, Justice and Art

A Panel By Kathi Wolfe, Chris Bell, Petra Kuppers, Stephen Kuusisto

Nothing is more connected to poetry than the body–(with its limitations and joys) and the body politic–the intersection of the personal with social justice issues (from peace to race to LGBT). This is especially true for disability culture (crip) poets who write out of their own experience of disability (in relation to their own bodies) and to the body politic (to disability as a social construct). The panel will be a lively discussion, focused on these questions: How does disability intersect with other political issues? How do a passion for social justice and experience with disability help to create memorable, well-crafted poems?

Writing Isn't Lonely: Collaborative Writing Workshop

Susan Tichy, Eleanor Graves, Danika Myers

If our politics are communal, why do so many poems celebrate the individual voice? If poetry is about discovery, not certainty, what happens when we have "a message"? How can we write politically while preserving complexity in our language and thought? Techniques of collage can move "the message" away from content and into the poem's process. We become makers of our poems, not their sole speaker, and the whole world of language becomes our material. This workshop will take you through collaborative exercises focused on speaking truth where truth is not evident.

Writing Down the Walls: Poetry in Prison

Shelley Savren, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Clarinda Harriss, Walter Lomax, John Mingo, Kyes Stevens

Poets who have conducted writing workshops in prisons (and/or in juvenile justice facilities) will discuss their experiences working with inmates – the challenges of the system, the successes of the workshops and the disappointments. They will examine the importance of reaching this population through poetry and whether or not writing empowered the participants or brought about change. Joining the panel will be inmates who participated in poetry writing workshops and/or wrote poetry while incarcerated. They will discuss the effects of writing poetry in a hostile environment and will explore how the act of writing poems enabled them to change their lives or at least survive behind prison walls.

Details and guidelines are online here(

Discussion and community building are at the heart of Split This Rock. We value diversity, creativity, and new ideas. Check out last year's schedule for inspiration.

Please join us!

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