Poets and poetry have played a central role in movements for social change since the art form’s conception thousands of years ago. In this age of mass consumption and manipulated mass media, poetry now more than ever acts as a means to give a voice to the voiceless, name the unnamable, and speaks directly to the individual and collective consciousness.
Continuing this long and vaunted tradition of social justice through the art form, the Split This Rock Poetry Festival will take place from March 22 – 25 in Washington DC. The festival will primarily take place at the Split This Rock Office with additional at the Thurgood Marshall Center.
Readings, workshops and panels featuring some of the nation’s most prominent contemporary poets will help to bring your craft to a new level as well as create common cause and celebrate poetry in the public sphere. The festival acts as a celebration of the many ways in which poets and poetry act as agents for social change by reaching across differences, asserting the ever-important right to free speech, and bearing witness to the ways in which expressing the diversity and complexities of life through language can help us to imagine a better world.
Panelists and workshop leaders include well-known poets such as Homero Aridjis, Sherwin Bitsui, Kathy Engel, Carlos Andrés Gómez, Douglas Kearney, Khaled Mattawa, Rachel McKibbens, Marilyn Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, Jose Padua, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Kim Roberts, Sonia Sanchez, Venus Thrash, and Alice Walker. The festival also features a special panel honoring the life and legacy of celebrated poet-essayist-activist June Jordan.
This festival that is an event that is sure to impress and open one’s mind to the beauty and importance of poetry as a valuable tool for self-expression and social change.
For more information, visit SplitThisRock.org.
Split This Rock Poetry Festival
March 22-25, 2012
Split This Rock Office
1112 16th Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036
Thurgood Marshall Center
1816 12th Street
Washington, DC 20009