Many people know Split This Rock for its bi-annual poetry festival held in even-numbered years in Washington, DC, but another valuable resource from the organization is The Quarry, a Social Justice Poetry Database. The over 300 poems in the database were originally published in Split This Rock’s Poem of the Week series, or were winners of Split This Rock’s annual poetry contest or the Abortion Rights Poetry Contest, co-sponsored by the Abortion Care Network.
The database is extremely easy to use with a list of ideas for possible uses for the data base that includes: find a poem to read as part of a meeting, demonstration or rally; take poems into classrooms to enhance curricula; provoke discussion; inspire your own writing; find a poet to give a reading; and of course, personal enjoyment.
The database can be searched by poet, poem title, key word or theme. Search tips on the site suggest starting with theme. Other options include format, geography and poet identity. My own searches for “guns” “hunger” and “peace each brought up a plethora of appropriate results.
Appropriate poems are not only easy to find but the site also provides the format for properly referencing the poems in MLA, APA, and Chicago styles thanks to the Purdue Online Writing Lab.
Split This Rock sends subscribers the poem of the week as part of its free newsletter. Learn more about Split This Rock from our recent Poetry Spoken Here podcast interview with Sarah Browning, Executive Director of Split This Rock.