Thursday, April 2, 2015 from
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT

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Arts Club of Washington
2017 I St, NW
Washington, DC 20006

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Split This Rock

Please join Split This Rock & The CrossCurrents Foundation as we present the 2015 Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism to:

Mark Nowak
for his work fostering and facilitating poetry dialogues 
among workers around the globe

Photo: Antonin Kratochvil
Photo: Antonin Kratochvil

Thursday, April 2, 2015
Arts Club of Washington
2017 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006

Reception * Awards Ceremony * Reading

With special performances by the DC Youth Slam Team

Cosponsored by the Arts Club of Washington and FOLIO Magazine

Tickets $30/students $10

Sponsorship opportunities available. Contact: (202) 787-5210

Light refreshments will be provided

The Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism, sponsored by the CrossCurrents Foundation and cosponsored by the Arts Club of Washington and FOLIO Magazine, recognizes and honors a poet who is doing innovative and transformative work at the intersection of poetry and social change. The award, judged this year by Sheila Black, Martha Collins, and E. Ethelbert Miller, is being given for the second time in 2015.

Finalists for the award are Black Poets Speak Out/Amanda Johnston, Mahogany Browne, Jonterri Gadson, for mobilizing poets to stand against police brutality; John Lee Clark for his translation of ASL poetry and advocacy for poets with disabilities; and Bob Holman, for his work documenting at-risk languages.

Mark Nowak is a poet, essayist, playwright, cultural critic, and the author of three poetry collections, including Coal Mountain Elementary (Coffee House Press, 2009) and Shut Up Shut Down (Coffee House Press, 2009), a New York Times Editor's Choice. He is the editor of Then and Now: Theodore Enslin's Selected Poems, 1943-1993 (National Poetry Foundation, 1999). Since 1999 he has been the editor of Xcp: Cross-Cultural Poetics, and currently directs the MFA program at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY.

Nowak has long been an advocate for a role for poetry that, in his words, "addresses, engages, and critiques the polices and practices of American empire, neoliberalism, and globalization." Nowak facilitates and encourages the writing and sharing of poems among individuals separated by national borders through "poetry dialogues." His emphasis on workers' solidarity despite separation by national borders subverts multi-national companies' strategy of preventing workers in one country from making common cause with their counterparts in another, thus resisting class warfare at a global level.

Split This Rock cultivates, teaches, and celebrates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes change. Its programs integrate poetry into public life and supports poets of all ages who write and perform this essential work.

The CrossCurrents Foundation promotes social, environmental, and economic justice, focusing where it believes private funding can make a strategic difference to public education campaigns about critical issues. Effective and socially relevant public art is part of its overall effort to increase civic participation.

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