The Washington Post

Split This Rock announces lineup for spring poetry festival

The 2014 poetry festival will be held on March 27-30. The 2014 poetry festival will be held March 27-30 in Washington.

Hundreds of people are busy planning the National Book Festival in September, but a farsighted group of poets is already looking ahead to next spring.

Split This Rock has released a list of 16 writers who will speak at its fourth biennial poetry festival, called “Poems of Provocation & Witness,” on March 27-30.

Among the featured poets will be Guggenheim fellow Anne Waldman, Pulitzer Prize-winner Yusef Komunyakaa and Eduardo Corral, who has won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize and a Whiting Writers’ Award.

The organization strives to choose poets who “exhibit exemplary public citizenship as activists and supporters of marginalized voices.” The full list, which can seen here, includes writers from the United States and abroad who work in a variety of literary forms.

The 2014 festival will offer readings, panel discussions and workshops on poetry and social activism. The events will be held at several locations in Washington, including Busboys & Poets and the Sumner School. A detailed schedule will be posted later this year. About 500 people attended the festival in 2012.

Split This Rock Executive Director Sarah Browning said in a statement, “Poetry can tell hard truths, can challenge and succor us. These poets are visionaries, helping imagine a future based on principles of justice, one that honors the transformative power of the imagination.”

Yusef Komunyakaa's most recent collection of poetry is "The Chameleon Couch" (FSG). Yusef Komunyakaa’s most recent collection of poetry is “The Chameleon Couch” (FSG, 2011).

Registration ($100) will open in the fall. Reduced fees will be extended to students, those who register early and those who cannot afford the full cost. Featured readings will be free and open to the public.

The Washington-based Split This Rock, which was founded in 2008, is a nonprofit organization that “calls poets to a greater role in public life and fosters a national network of socially engaged poets.”



Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. For a dozen years, he enjoyed teaching American literature and critical theory in the Midwest, but finally switched to journalism when he realized that if he graded one more paper, he'd go crazy.



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