Ecotone heads to DC this weekend for the 2018 Split This Rock Poetry Festival! Check out our contributors presenting and reading! Will we see you there? Find us at the Social Change Book Fair on Saturday.
Thursday, April 19
Ghost Fishing Book Launch (Reading & Discussion)
Presenters: Melissa A. Tuckey and readers Hayes Davis, Camille T. Dungy, Everett Hoagland, Tiffany Higgins, Elizabeth Jacobson, Nancy K. Pearson, Gretchen Primack, Katy Richey, Purvi Shah, Danez Smith, Javier Zamora
1:30 – 3 p.m. | National Housing Center Auditorium
Many good things come out of Split This Rock Festival interactions and panel discussions—we’re proud to celebrate the birth of one! Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology was conceived as a result of a panel Split This Rock Co-Founder Melissa Tuckey hosted on June Jordan and environmental justice poetry back in 2012. Many, many months later, this groundbreaking book is at last in print! Pushing back against colonizing ideas of nature as unpeopled wilderness, Ghost Fishing presents a rich terrain of culturally diverse perspectives on issues of environmental crisis and resistance. Grounded in social justice and the belief that all beings have the right to a healthy, safe environment and home, this culturally diverse collection engages with many of the most pressing issues of our time, while also offering hope around our shared future. Come celebrate this necessary and inspiring book and help us think about how to get it out in communities. Bring a copy and get it signed by poets and the editor!
No More Masks! 45 Years of Women in Poetry (Panel)
Presenters: Elizabeth Acevedo, Ellen Bass, Sarah Browning, Solmaz Sharif
3:30 – 5 p.m. | Charles Sumner School Museum & Archives Room 102
In 1973, Ellen Bass co-edited, with Florence Howe, the first major anthology of women’s poetry, No More Masks!. Howe began her introduction, “This is not the last word on women poets. Indeed, in some respects it is more like the first word, since so little has been written about them as a group.” How far we’ve come! But in the moment of #MeToo and our often still-paltry representation in the ranks of publishing, how far we still have to go! Join a mutigenerational discussion as we honor our history and those who’ve gone before, celebrate successes, and rededicate ourselves to knocking down doors and building inclusive spaces that welcome all our many, varied, and glorious voices.
The Poet as Parent: Inoculating For and Against the World (Reading)
Presenters: Mario Chard, Camille T. Dungy, Erika Meitner, David Thacker
3:30 – 5 p.m. | Charles Sumner School Museum & Archives Memorial Hall
Does the poet-as-parent sometimes feel the joy and pain of a nation in turmoil more acutely than those without children? Whether that’s true, or even worth our time to debate in light of such great need, what is true is that some poets have children and some choose to speak to those children about the world through their poems. This themed reading explores the ways in which a diverse panel of contemporary poets speak to their children in their work. In a metaphor for vaccination–when a parent takes an infant to a clinic to receive a weakened virus in order to build immunity against it– we sometimes use the word “inoculate,” meaning to graft an “eye” (oculus) of one plant into another. Here “eye” stands in for “bud,” the new leaf forming, and thus, through the act of inoculation, we figuratively “give sight” to our children. We graft in the new eye. These poems are the new eye. This is the world we teach them to see.
Featured Reading & Book Signing
Camille T. Dungy, Sharon Olds, Javier Zamora, 2018 Sonia Sanchez-Langston Hughes Poetry Contest Winner Jonathan Mendoza
7 – 8:30 p.m. | National Housing Center Auditorium |
ASL interpretation provided. Reading followed by a book signing. Books will be available for sale by Split This Rock partner Busboys & Poets Books. Free & Open to the public.
Friday, April 20
No F*cks to Give: Women Poets and Dark Humor (Reading)
Presenters: Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Kendra DeColo, Erika Meitner, Shara McCallum, Tyler Mills
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | American Association of University Women Room 1
Comedy has historically been a tool for social change, used to influence those in power and subvert the status quo. But how can humor be used to resist a regime whose leader is described as “satire-proof”? What powers and responsibilities do poetry and stand-up carry in times of political turmoil and repression? What does it mean to have an attitude of “No F*cks” while fighting forces that seek to keep us hopeless and inert? In this lively panel, five women poets will read from work that sits at the intersection of satire, performance, and social critique and that seeks to reclaim and disrupt dehumanizing rhetoric through an unapologetic, fierce poetics. They will discuss the influence of comedy on their craft, specifically the ways humor can upend and challenge systems of oppression. We hope this reading will generate robust discussion and audience participation on creating work that claims our humanity while exposing the absurd ineptitude and cowardly violence of the current regime.
Tools from the Editor’s Desk: A Revision-based Workshop for Poets and Poet-Editors (Workshop)
Presenters: Anna Lena Phillips Bell and Sumita Chakraborty
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | American Association of University Women Room 2
Editing is an act of love—an effort to help writers find their work’s best form and to help readers discover that work. Two editors who work with poets for publication in national literary magazines will offer writers fresh strategies for revising their own work and for offering practical feedback on others’ work. With both existing examples and poems written during the workshop, we’ll practice using tools from the craft of editing, including the art of querying as well as considerations of syntax, rhetoric, grammar, usage, and more. We’ll explore strategies for providing feedback without furthering oppression around class, race, gender, place of origin, and sexuality. We’ll discuss ways to engage compassionately, openly, and truthfully with both our own identities and those of the writers we work with. We’ll consider the peculiar benefits and challenges of being a poet-editor, as well as ways to get started as an editor for those who wish to explore the field. Writers will leave the workshop with a packet of revision prompts and resources for editing.
Sweet, Fraught South: Readings and Incitements to Write from Place (Reading)
Presenters: Anna Lena Phillips Bell, Sumita Chakraborty, Ashley M. Jones
3:30 – 5:30 p.m. | Charles Sumner School Museum & Archives Room 102
Writing that emerges from place can reveal not only the effects of oppression but also the radical joy that can come from attempts to know a landscape well and live in right relation to it. The poets featured in this workshop and reading use diverse formal strategies to write from the Southern places they know, love, and struggle with. They explore ecological vibrancy and decline, historical erasure and resurrection, regional speech and song, gender, and the intersections between environmental and social justice. Each will read from recent work and then offer a prompt designed to inspire writing from place and aid poetic practice. A minibook containing the prompts will be offered to those in attendance, and the session will include time for conversation among readers and audience members about place-based practice.
Saturday, April 21
2018 Split This Rock Social Change Book Fair
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | National Housing Center
Featuring the critically important work of socially engaged poets, writers, organizations, progressive presses, literary magazines, and independent newspapers. Free and open to the public.
Featured Reading & Book Signing
Kazim Ali, Ellen Bass, Terisa Siagatonu
4:15 – 5:45 p.m. | National Housing Center Auditorium
ASL interpretation provided. Reading followed by a book signing. Books will be available for sale by Split This Rock partner Busboys & Poets Books. Free and open to the public.