Wednesday, January 16, 2008



Come celebrate MKL weekend and poetic voices of resistance and hope in the District of Columbia at the second anniversary of Sunday Kind of Love!

Honoring the Ancestors – In honor of MLK Day, bring poems by activist poets who have come before. And read your own in the great tradition of poetry of resistance. All open mic!

June Jordan - Grace Paley - Walt Whitman - Audre Lorde - Langston Hughes - Muriel Rukeyser - Robert Creeley - Sterling Brown - Sekou Sundiata - Sandy Taylor - Gordon Parks - Pat Parker - Pablo Neruda - Gwendolyn Brooks - Essex Hemphill - Melvin Dixon - Ken Saro-Wiwa - Allen Ginsburg - Corky Gonzalez - and more!

Sunday Kind of Love - Third Sunday of the Month
Sunday, January 20, 4 pm

A Busboys & Poetry Event, hosted by Sarah Browning, DC Poets Against the War and Regie Cabico, Sol & Soul
Busboys & Poets
14th & V Streets, NW, Washington, DC
U Street/Cardozo on the Green Line., 202-387-POET
For more info:
Wheelchair accessible.

NEXT: Sunday, February 17, 2008, 4 pm Celebrating Black History Month with African American poets in the anthology, Family Pictures, edited by Kwame Alexander.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Split This Rock Registration Opens – Register Today and Save!

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to announce that registration for Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness, is now open. Register online at:

Register by March 10 and save. Before March 10, registration will be $75 and $40 for students. After March 10, the fee will rise to $85, and $50 for students. Your registration fee will include admission to all festival activities including readings, workshops, panels, receptions, film screenings, and open mics. Walking tours of literary DC are also included, but you must sign up when you register. Each tour is limited to 25, first come, first served.

Please consider an additional gift to help others attend. Split This Rock is a grassroots event and we need everyone’s support to make it a success. We have sponsorship levels to fit every budget. See details and give a gift here:

Scholarships are available. Guidelines for application can be found online at:

We are committed to making the festival accessible to all. Festival sites will be wheelchair accessible. Please let us know if you will need additional accommodation. Email us at or call 202-787-5210.

SpaceShare – Split Your Car, Split Your Room, Go Green – Thanks to the generous partnership of SpaceShare, you can find a hotel roommate or a home stay arrangement, share space in your car, find a ride, or offer a room in your home. Just go to to sign up.

Finally, don’t forget – you can still send poems to the Split This Rock Poetry Contest. Just get them in the mail today! Guidelines available at:

Register today! We look forward to seeing you in March at Split This Rock, the historic gathering of activist poets.

For peace in ’08,

Sarah Browning and the Coordinating Committee of Split This Rock

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Announcing the Split This Rock issue of Beloit Poetry Journal

We're excited to announce the publication of the Beloit Poetry Journal’s Split This Rock Chapbook. Here’s a note from the editors, John Rosenwald and Lee Sharkey:

As a contribution to the Split This Rock Poetry Festival and to poetry as the voice of witness, resistance, and transformation, the Beloit Poetry Journal has dedicated its Spring 2008 issue to a special chapbook of work by poets around the nation who will be participating in the festival. We had wanted for the last several years to publish a chapbook of poetry that would lend its insights to the political realities that hover over every aspect of our lives; meeting Sarah Browning, Melissa Tuckey, and Regie Cabico at last year’s Associated Writing Programs Conference presented a golden opportunity to do that. We salute Sarah, Melissa, Regie, and the other conference organizers for the extraordinary effort they are putting into making Split This Rock a great confluence of poets of many different voices but a common commitment to transforming the body politic.

The 56-page Split This Rock Chapbook consists of poems by eighteen of the festival’s featured readers: Jimmy Santiago Baca, Robert Bly, Mark Doty, Martín Espada, Carolyn Forché, Sam Hamill, Joy Harjo, Galway Kinnell, Stephen Kuusisto, E. Ethelbert Miller, Naomi Shihab Nye, Alix Olson, Alicia Ostriker, Ishle Yi Park, Sonia Sanchez, Patricia Smith, Susan Tichy, and Pamela Uschuk.

Their poems, some of which are previously published pieces that have become touchstones of contemporary political poetry, the rest of which we are the first to publish, are in complex conversation with each other. They walk the streets of Brooklyn, ride the bus with Rosa Parks in Jerusalem, and fly over the flood-torn Big Easy in a helicopter with an addled president. They bear witness to the murder of Pablo Neruda, lament the deaths of the residents of Hiroshima, and celebrate the workers at the Window on the World Restaurant who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center. They refract the news through a clarifying lens, and savage murderous idiocy. They are satire, jeremiad, prophecy, and charm, exhorting us in the name of Neruda, Akhmatova, Thoreau, and Frederick Douglass to “Cry out! . . . . See who will answer!”

The chapbook will both advertize the festival and serve after the festival as an inspiration to keep speaking in what Sonia Sanchez calls “the tongues of peace.” If you can’t find it at your local bookstore, you can order it on line now from the BPJ website, We’ll be selling it at this year’s AWP Conference (Jan 31-Feb 3 in NYC). It will also, of course, be available at Split This Rock in March.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Expanded Review of Whiskey on

Many thanks to Ed Zahniser, who expanded his review of Whiskey in the Garden of Eden on The Monserrat Review for Read the new review here.


Split This Rock at AWP '08

Please join Split This Rock at AWP this year – panels, book fair, signings!

(Note - AWP is sold out but the bookfair is open to the public Saturday, February 2, 8:30-5:30 pm.)

AWP 2008 Annual Conference & BookfairJanuary 30-February 2, 2008

New York, New York

Hilton New York & Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers

Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness
March 20-23, 2008

Split This Rock Poetry Festival calls poets to a greater role in public life and fosters a national community of activist 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.

Come to Washington, DC, on the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq for readings, workshops, panels, film, walking tours, parties, activism. Registration is only $75. Students $40. Many scholarships available. Guidelines at

Visit us in the Bookfair at Table 213 to learn more, register, and write haiku post cards to the president. Each day a favorite haiku will be chosen and posted on the Split This Rock website. Come tell the prez what’s on your mind!

Split This Rock Panels:

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Birthdays This Week - Sandburg, Levine

Picnic Boat

Sunday night and the park policemen tell each other it
is dark as a stack of black cats on Lake Michigan.
A big picnic boat comes home to Chicago from the peach
farms of Saugatuck.
Hundreds of electric bulbs break the night's darkness, a
flock of red and yellow birds with wings at a standstill.
Running along the deck railings are festoons and leaping
in curves are loops of light from prow and stern
to the tall smokestacks.
Over the hoarse crunch of waves at my pier comes a
hoarse answer in the rhythmic oompa of the brasses
playing a Polish folk-song for the home-comers.

--Carl Sandburg. Chicago Poems, 1916.

(with thanks to David Graham on New-Poetry)


The new grass rising in the hills,
the cows loitering in the morning chill,
a dozen or more old browns hidden
in the shadows of the cottonwoods
beside the streambed. I go higher
to where the road gives up and there's
only a faint path strewn with lupine
between the mountain oaks. I don't
ask myself what I'm looking for.
I didn't come for answers
to a place like this, I came to walk
on the earth, still cold, still silent.
Still ungiving, I've said to myself,
although it greets me with last year's
dead thistles and this year's
hard spines, early blooming
wild onions, the curling remains
of spider's cloth. What did I bring
to the dance? In my back pocket
a crushed letter from a woman
I've never met bearing bad news
I can do nothing about. So I wander
these woods half sightless while
a west wind picks up in the trees
clustered above. The pines make
a music like no other, rising and
falling like a distant surf at night
that calms the darkness before
first light. "Soughing" we call it, from
Old English, no less. How weightless
words are when nothing will do.

-- Philip Levine . Breath. Knopf, 2004.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Kathi Wolfe on Poetry, Community, and Split This Rock!

Auden famously said that poetry makes nothing happen.

Some poets say that poetry shouldn't be engaged with politics–that a poem shouldn't show concern for social justice. Language, craft–aesthetics is the be all and end all of art, they say.

Now is the time to prove them and even Auden wrong.

As I write this, the Iraq War, the sub-prime mortgage crisis, racism and hate crimes are word-worms swimming in our heads.

Poets aren't legislators. We can't wave a magic wand and stop any of these things. But, in community, we can raise our voice against these evils.

I do not mean that we should write boring, eat-your-spinach-or-else sermons or rants. This would bore us to death.

I mean that we should make art–create well-crafted, beautiful, mysterious, provocative-moving poems.

Read the Scene4 column here:


CUT LOOSE THE BODY - Interview in Foreign Policy in Focus

Please check out the link below. It's an interview E. Ethelbert Miller did with Rose Berger and Joe Ross for "Foreign Policy in Focus" -- about CUT LOOSE THE BODY, the poetic response to Fernando Botero's Abu Ghraib paintings and the issue of torture. Many thanks to Ethelbert for continuing the conversation about CUT LOOSE THE BODY, a project of DC Poets Against the War and American University.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Splendid Split This Rock Issue of Beltway Poetry Quarterly

With enormous thanks and praise to Kim Roberts and Regie Cabico, the coeditors of the latest issue of Beltway Poetry Quarterly - it's the Split This Rock issue - poems of provocation and witness by DC-area featured poets and organizers. Check it out!

Happy New Year from Beltway Poetry Quarterly!

We begin 2008 with a rousing new issue of the journal, celebrating political poetry "borne out of a hunger." The Split This Rock Issue features seventeen poets who are participating in the upcoming festival of the same name, either as organizers or readers.

As co-editor Regie Cabico writes in his introduction, these poets sing "about gentrification, pop culture, immigration, war, heritage, disability, history and American iconography" to create a home "in the gut of a government that should hear, swallow, and ingest verses of provocation and witness."

Split This Rock Poetry Festival will take place in Washington, DC March 20-23, 2008. In addition to Beltway Poetry Quarterly, other co-sponsoring organizations include DC Poets Against the War, the Institute for Policy Studies, Sol and Soul, Busboys and Poets, The White Crane Institute, Washington Friends of Walt Whitman, and Beloit Poetry Journal.

The Split This Rock Issue of Beltway Poetry Quarterly features poems by the following authors:

Winona Addison * Naomi Ayala * Sarah Browning * Grace Cavalieri * Teri Ellen Cross * Heather Davis * Joel Dias-Porter * Yael Flusberg * Brian Gilmore * E. Ethelbert Miller * Princess of Controversy * Tanya Snyder * Susan Tichey * Melissa Tuckey * Dan Vera * Rosemary Winslow * Kathi Wolfe

The Split This Rock Issue (Volume 9, Number 1), is co-edited by Regie Cabico and Kim Roberts. The issue is available online now at:

>>>>>>>>>Subscriptions to Beltway Poetry Quarterly are free! Join our list serve. There are two options:

JOURNAL ONLY. If you would like to get email notices four times a year with announcements of new issues, please join our subscription list at Mutual Aid. Go to:

DC LOCAL LISTINGS. Want more? If you would like a subscription PLUS information about readings, calls for entry, and other literary events in the greater DC region, please join our DC list at Mutual Aid. Go to:


Split This Rock Poetry Festival is coming to the streets and performance halls of DC in three short months! March 20-23, 2008. Check us out at:

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