Sunday, January 13, 2008

Split This (Global) Rock: Love letter to Kenya

Mukoma Wa Ngugi, a Kenyan poet, author of Hurling Words at Consciousness and co-editor of Pambazuka News , heard about Split This Rock from the Africa Poets Yahoo Group. Mukoma is sharing with us a poem commissioned by the BBC World Service on the ongoing crisis in Kenya.

Kenya – A Love Letter
Mukoma Wa Ngugi

Inside looking out, snow is falling and I am thinking
how happy we once were, when promises and dreams
came easy and how when we, lovers covered only

by a warm Eldoret night, you waved a prophecy
at a shooting star and said, "when the time comes
we shall name our first child, Kenya" and how I

laughed and said "yes our child then shall be country
and human" and we held hands, rough and toughened
by shelling castor seeds. My dear, when did our

clasped hands become heavy chains and anchors holding
us to the mines and diamond and oil fields? Our hands
calloused by love and play, these same hands – when

did they learn to grip a machete or a gun to spit hate?
And this earth that drinks our blood like a hungry child
this earth that we have scorched to cinders - when we

are done eating it, how much of it will be left for Kenya?
My dear, our child is born, is dying. Tomorrow the child
will be dead.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Special Split This Rock issue of Beltway Poetry Quarterly

Beltway Poetry Quarterly is beginning 2008 with a rousing issue featuring seventeen poets who are participating the Split This Rock poetry festival as organizers or readers. As co-editor Regie Cabico writes in his introduction, these poets sing "about gentrification, pop culture, immigration, war, heritage, disability, history and American iconography" to create a home "in the gut of a government that should hear, swallow, and ingest verses of provocation and witness."

The Split This Rock Issue of Beltway Poetry Quarterly features poems by: Winona Addison * Naomi Ayala * Sarah Browning * Grace Cavalieri * Teri Ellen Cross * Heather Davis * Joel Dias-Porter * Yael Flusberg * Brian Gilmore * E. Ethelbert Miller * Princess of Controversy * Tanya Snyder * Susan Tichey * Melissa Tuckey * Dan Vera * Rosemary Winslow * Kathi Wolfe

The Split This Rock Issue (Volume 9, Number 1), is co-edited by Regie Cabico and Kim Roberts. The issue is available online now at