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Split This Rock’s Poetry Database

There are occasions when only a poem will do.

To that end, Split This Rock has launched The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database:

The Quarry is a searchable collection of over 300 poems by a diverse array of contemporary socially engaged poets, published by Split This Rock since 2009. Like all of Split This Rock’s programs, The Quarry is designed to bring poetry fully to the center of public life.

Visitors can search by theme, format, geography, identity, and language. So whether you’re looking for a poem to read as part of a eulogy or hunting for a new favorite poet from your home state, The Quarry is a great place to start.

Using the filter to search only for poets from North Carolina turns up NCWN member Beth Copeland’s “Cerberus” and L. Lamar Wilson’s “A Patch of Blue in Tenleytown.”

How were poems selected for The Quarry?

Poems featured in The Quarry 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. Some of the poets have featured at Split This Rock’s biennial poetry festival and/or Sunday Kind of Love reading and open mic series. Others are members of the national Split This Rock community, Split This Rock teaching artists, members of the DC Youth Slam Team, and more.

And if you happen to be in Washington, DC, tonight, you can join Split This Rock for their database launch party at 7:00 pm at Busboys and Poets – Brookland, 625 Monroe St. NE. The evening will include performances and poetry readings and a DJ.

Sign up here to receive a Poem of the Week in your inbox each Friday.

Split This Rock cultivates, teaches, and celebrates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes social change. It calls poets to a greater role in public life and fosters a national network of socially engaged poets. Building the audience for poetry of provocation and witness from their home in the nation’s capital, they celebrate poetic diversity and the transformative power of the imagination. Visit them at