Split This Rock’ Poetry Festival Attracts Visitors

About 500 people came out for the third annual “Split This Rock” Poetry Festival that took place March 22-25 throughout D.C. Attendees traveled across the nation for the festival featuring a number of sessions about writing and poetry.

“Split This Rock” began in 2008 with a purpose of connecting individuals through the art of poetry. This year’s festival paid tribute to writer June Jordan, who died in 2002. Sara Browning, director of “Split This Rock,” said though she never met Jordan she was inspired by her “fierce honesty” and ability to “go to very difficult places” and be direct in her work. The district has a rich tradition of African-American poets like Langston Hughes and Paul Laurence Dunbar, Browning said.

“Part of our vision at ‘Split This Rock’ is to celebrate that tradition,” Browning said. “Lift it up, make sure people know it, and celebrating June this year is part of that piece of our mission.”

Among the poets featured in this year’s festival were Sonia Sanchez, Douglas Kearney and Kim Johnson, who appeared at Carlos Rosario High School on March 22.

“For so many ‘Split This Rock’ is the place where they meet like-minded folks,” Browning said. “They build common cause and they have their own courage restored, bolstered for the good work they’re doing in their notebooks, on their computers, but also throughout their communities.”

For more information about Split This Rock, visit http://www.splitthisrock.org/.