Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Celebrating Beltway Poetry Quarterly's 10th Anniversary - Full Moon on K Street


Featuring over one hundred contemporary poems, the book captures DC's unique sense of place, from monuments to parks, from lawyers to bus stations, from go-go music to chili half-smokes. All poems were written between 1950 and the present, by past and current residents of the city. Edited by Kim Roberts, the publisher of the acclaimed online journal Beltway Poetry Quarterly, this anthology captures the city's many moods: celebratory, angry, and fiercely political.

Contributors include: two-time US Poet Laureate Reed Whittemore; DC's first Poet Laureate, Sterling A. Brown; senator and five-time presidential candidate Eugene J. McCarthy; Cervantes prize winner for lifetime achievement in Spanish-language literature, Jose Emilio Pacheco; renowned gay rights activist Essex Hemphill; and President Obama's official inauguration poet, Elizabeth Alexander.

A number of readings will take place throughout 2010, in the greater Washington DC area (and one in Chicago). See events page for details.

Click here to order: http://www.planbpress.com/fmoks_preorder.html

Monday, December 14, 2009


2010 Festival Registration Now Open! Same Low Rates as 2008!

Split This Rock Poetry Festival invites poets, writers, artists, activists, dreamers, and all concerned world citizens to Washington, DC, for 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.

From March 10 through March 13, 2010, the festival will feature readings, workshops, panel discussions, youth programming, film, activism -- opportunities to speak out for social justice, imagine a way forward, and celebrate the many ways that poetry can act as an agent for social change.

Space is limited and registration fees increase after February 10, 2010. Please register early to reserve your spot! If you can't make it to the entire festival, one-day registrations are available.

In these tough economic times, we've kept the same low rates of $75 for festival passes, $40 for students. Rates go up February 10, so act now! And please help others attend by making an additional gift. Every dollar helps!

We offer a limited number of scholarships. Please read the Scholarship Guidelines and send us your application before February 20 (postmark deadline).

Please contact us if you need help with registration or need registration forms in an alternate format.

Visit the website for the program and schedule -- and keep checking back; we're adding information every day.

We can't wait to see you in March!

In peace and poetry,
Split This Rock

Looking for Lodging?

SpaceShare -- Split Your Car, Split Your Room, Go Green Thanks to the generous partnership of SpaceShare, you can find a hotel roommate, find a ride or a room, share space in your car, or offer a room in your home.
Just go to
http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102885737975&s=2&e=001J3g8SLL_SiqYicF9F1daZ9O8h7kGAKD77yIA4fwjxr-LROfDjRh-ocKlVFPtN9k1SS11Pquw9fUoHsVezoYwBMOR4hwTW1Bb6L61ThSKy0iBpts6DXBvnhFJfuQf_tubuP8uy100wzc= to sign up.

Also, we are pleased to announce the Beacon Hotel as the "official" hotel for Split This Rock Poetry Festival in 2010. Beacon's rates are modest compared to area hotels.
Reserve a room online or call 800-821-4367 (mention Split This Rock for our reduced rate).
For every reservation that mentions Split This Rock, Beacon will donate 5% of the room rate to Split This Rock.

Reservations at this rate are on a first-come, first-served basis through January 25, 2010. The Wednesday and Thursday rate is $209/night; Friday and Saturday rate is $129/night; and Sunday's rate is $189.

Visit the Where To Stay page for more options and details!

Spread The Word!

Please forward this email to your networks and post on your blog and Facebook page. We have beautiful post cards, too. Can you spread them around your community? Email us at info@splitthisrock.org with your snail mail address and we'll get them in the mail to you right away. Thanks!

2010 Adult Poetry Contest - less than one month to go!
Split This Rock is pleased to announce our third annual poetry contest, to be judged by Chris Abani, one of our featured poets for the 2010 festival. First place $500; 2nd and 3rd place, $250 each. Winning poems will be published on SplitThisRock.org, and the 1st-place winner will be invited to read the winning poem at Split This Rock Poetry Festival in March 2010. Deadline: January 4, 2010. See the website for guidelines: http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102885737975&s=2&e=001J3g8SLL_Sioa05OTr9y-eRfbMspIQrNIKLIzlCNRobZ66U8Y98pNCmYzzkdAr1hSNfu8mLNAzKWt_2i97LWkIGluMPrTt2dq9lu-DDjVEagC5AG4xcFvRw==

Call for Film and Video
Submit your original films or videos for the 2nd Split This Rock Poetry Festival, to be held March 2010. We are looking for artistic, experimental, and challenging film/video interpretations of poetry that explore critical social issues. Entries can be up to 15 minutes long. Deadline: January 15, 2010. See the website for guidelines and required entry form: http://www.splitthisrock.org/

Support Split This Rock
Please support Split This Rock, the national network of activist poets. Donations are tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor, the Institute for Policy Studies. Click here to donate. Or send a check payable to "IPS/Split This Rock" to: Split This Rock, c/o Institute for Policy Studies, 1112 16th Street NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036. Many thanks!

Contact info@splitthisrock.org for more details or to become a sponsor.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


King to Obama...

On this day of Nobel hypocricy, I am struck by the words of another peace laureate, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said in his speech on Vietnam in 1967:

As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked, and rightly so, "What about Vietnam?" They asked if our own nation wasn?t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.

For those who ask the question, "Aren't you a civil rights leader?" and thereby mean to exclude me from the movement for peace, I have this further answer. In 1957, when a group of us formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, we chose as our motto: "To save the soul of America." We were convinced that we could not limit our vision to certain rights for black people, but instead affirmed the conviction that America would never be free or saved from itself until the descendants of its slaves were loosed completely from the shackles they still wear. In a way we were agreeing with Langston Hughes, that black bard of Harlem, who had written earlier:

O, yes, I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath --
America will be!

Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read "Vietnam." It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who are yet determined that "America will be" are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land.

As if the weight of such a commitment to the life and health of America were not enough, another burden of responsibility was placed upon me in 1964. And I cannot forget that the Nobel Peace Prize was also a commission, a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for the brotherhood of man. This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances.


Just substitute Iraq and Afghanistan for Vietnam and no other comment is needed.

Read Dr. King's whole speech here: http://www.writespirit.net/inspirational_talks/political/martin_luther_king_talks/beyond_vietnam/


Split This Rock Holiday Gift Guide

The season of gift giving is upon us. If you're struggling to find gifts that show your passion for poetry and social justice, let us help you with the list below. Included are the most recent books and CDs of all kinds by poets who will be featured at Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness in March, especially the newest poetry releases.

We encourage you to seek out your local, independent bookstore to buy these books, thus helping support not only poets and poetry, but a vibrant and diverse local economy. If you live in the DC Metro area, check out the Teaching for Change bookstore at Busboys and Poets at 14th and V Streets, NW(www.busboys.com)

You can also support Teaching for Change by purchasing books online here. Just type an author or title into the search box in the upper right-hand corner of the home page.

Read on for an inspiring bookshelf full of suggestions!

Split This Rock Holiday Gift Guide

Chris Abani
*Song For Night (Novella) 2007 $12.95 Akashic Books
*The Virgin of Flames (Novel) 2007 $14.00 Penguin (available as an eBook)
*Hands Washing Water (Poetry) 2006 $15.00
Copper Canyon Press

Sinan Antoon
*I'jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody (Novel) 2007 $8.37 (on sale) City Lights
*Baghdad Blues (Poetry) 2007 $10 Harbor Mountain Press

Francisco Aragon
*Puerta del Sol (Poetry) 2005 $12 Bilingual Review Press

Jan Beatty
*Red Sugar (Poetry - for Split This Rock's Review, check out Blog This Rock) 2008 $14.00 University of Pittsburgh Press

Martha Collins
*Blue Front (Poetry) 2008 $14.00 Graywolf Press

Cornelius Eady
*Hardheaded Weather (Poetry) 2008 $14.00 Putnam (also available as an eBook)

Martin Espada
Crucifixion in the Plaza des Armas (Poetry) 2008 £7.95 Smokestack (UK) Purchase at Inpress
*The Republic of Poetry (Poetry) 2006 $13.95 Norton

Andrea Gibson
Yellow Bird (CD) 2009 $12.95 CDbaby.com
*Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns (Poetry) 2008 $15.00 Write Bloody

Allison Hedge Coke
*Blood Run (Poetry) 2006 £7.99 or $12.97 (US store available online) Salt Publishing (UK)
*Off-Season City Pipe (Poetry) 2005 $14.00 Coffee House Press

Natalie Illum
On Writer's Block and Acrobats (Poetry) http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102873267558&s=2&e=00181P-DMsOJ5HOowGlE7jm7d0VIzYTo_SOdqmwrXtlZZ0BiaALSQeU1OlWIouu5nAhYBM1ua_qtC-PhIwhFL7TZcxtfWEnbr3UHe701A5x3Uu_SE4ITFBElznPj-pXOHuyp__Pmd5fsAw=

Fady Joudah
*The Earth in the Attic (Poetry) 2007 $30 Cloth $16 Paperback Yale University Press
*If I Were Another by Mahmoud Darwish (Translated Poetry) 2009 $28 Hardcover Farrar Straus and Giroux

Richard McCann
*Mother of Sorrows (Stories) 2005 $14.00 Random House
*Ghost Letters (Poetry) 1994 $9.95 Alice James Books

Jeffrey McDaniel
*The Endarkenment (Poetry) 2008 $14.00 University of Pittsburgh Press

Lenelle Moїse
Madivinez (CD & MP3) $15.00 CDbaby.com

Nancy Morejόn
*With Eyes and Soul: Images of Cuba (Poetry and Photography) 2004 $19 White Pine Press

Mark Nowak
*Coal Mountain Elementary (Poetry - for Split This Rock's Review, check out Blog This Rock) 2009 $20 Coffee House Press

Wang Ping
*The Dragon Emperor: A Chinese Folktale (Folktale for ages 9-12) 2008 $25.26 Millbrook Press (A Division of Lerner Publishing)
*The Last Communist Virgin (Stories) 2008 $14.95 Coffee House Press
*The Magic Whip (Poetry) 2003 $15.00 Coffee House Press

Patricia Smith
*Blood Dazzler (Poetry) 2008 $16.00 Coffee House Press

A.B. Spellman
*Things I Must Have Known (Poetry) 2008 $16.00 Coffee House Press

Arthur Sze
The Ginkgo Light (Poetry) 2009 $15.00 Copper Canyon Press

Quincy Troupe
*Miles and Me (Memoir) 2002 $16.95 University of California Press
*Transcircularities: New and Selected Poems (Poetry) 2002 $30 Hardcover, $17 Paperback Coffee House Press

Bruce Weigl
*Declension in the Village of Chung Luong 2006 $14 Ausable Press/Copper Canyon Press


*Fire and Ink: An Anthology of Social Action Writing
Ed. Frances Payne Adler, Debra Busman, and Diana García. 2009 $32.95 University of Arizona Press (20% off if you mention the magic code: "FLR" when you order from University of Arizona Press : 1-800-426-3797)

Editors Frances Payne Adler and Diana Garcia are presenting a panel discussion about the anthology and the joys of teaching social action writing at the university level with contributors Martín Espada, Alicia Ostriker, Patricia Smith, and Melissa Tuckey. Also includes contributions by past and present Split This Rock featured poets Sharon Olds, Sonia Sanchez, Carolyn Forché, and Jimmy Santiago Baca.

*Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry Ed. Camille T. Dungy. 2009 $48.97 Cloth (on sale) $17.47 Paper (on sale) University of Georgia Press

Editor Camille Dungy is presenting a reading of contributors at Split This Rock: Gregory Pardlo, E. Ethelbert Miller, Remica L. Bingham, Thomas Sayers Ellis, and Mark McMorris. Patricia Smith and Cornelius Eady (2010 Featured Poets) are also in the anthology as are past Sunday Kind of Love features Tim Seibles, Tara Betts, Patricia Spears Jones, and Terrance Hayes, among others.

I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights Melissa Kwasny and M.L. Smoker, Editors. 2009 $18. Lost Horse Press

Contributor Martha Collins is a Split This Rock Featured Poet in 2010 and contributor Philip Metres is participating in a panel at the 2010 festival. Other contributers include Carolyn Forché (2008 Split This Rock Featured Poet), Tamiko Beyer (2008 Split This Rock panelist) and Christi Kramer (a central Split This Rock activist).

* Books marked with an asterisk are also available via Powell's Books (http://www.powells.com/). Split This Rock recommends Powell's because it is a union shop.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


History Repeats Itself...

Couldn't be clearer... (Plus, a Bonus Bush Boneheader in the final line)

Obama: "We Did Not Ask for This Fight"
Bush: "We Did Not Seek This Conflict"

Obama: "New Attacks are Being Plotted as I Speak"
Bush: "At This Moment ... Terrorists are Planning New Attacks"

Obama: "Our Cause is Just, Our Resolve Unwavering"
Bush: "Our Cause is Just, Our Coalition [is] Determined"

Obama: "We Have No Interest in Occupying Your Country"
Bush: "I Wouldn't Be Happy if I Were Occupied Either"

(From MichaelMoore.com)

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