Now in its twelfth year, Young Chicago Authors' Louder Than a Bomb is Chicago's most exciting youth spoken word event, engaging 80 schools and community organizations and over 6,000 Chicagoans each year through a poetry "slam" competition. Louder Than a Bomb enhances literary and cultural literacy among youth and creates exchanges between communities of students who may otherwise remain disparate. This 3-week event supports an ever-growing youth writing community in Chicago, providing resources to schools and organizations to invigorate their curriculums and regain students’ interest in education.
Presented annually, Louder Than A Bomb engages schools and community organizations from all over the Chicago area in workshops, showcases, panel discussions and a teen poetry slam. The poetry slam is an Olympic-style poetry contest, created in Chicago in 1985 and now an international phenomenon. Using friendly competition to gather the best and brightest young writers from the Chicago area, Louder Than a Bomb is a safe space that emphasizes community building, education, and youth empowerment. By carrying on the rich tradition of oral storytelling and the spoken word, Louder Than a Bomb will engage over 650 youth participants representing 80 schools and community centers to share stories, break stereotypes, speak the truth, challenging themselves and their audience.
Now in its eleventh year, the festival is bigger than ever. This is the second time these young poets will grace the stages of the historic Steppenwolf Theatre, and it will take place over the course of four semi-final bouts. The competing teams in these semi-finals will have been selected as the top sixteen teams, and the top twelve individual poets, from the enormous field of youth talent LTAB gets each year. The top twelve scoring individual poets will compete at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater on Wednesday, March 9th, as well as the winning team from each semi-final bout will compete at the Vic Theater on Saturday, March 12th to see who are the champions of Chicago youth poetry. The winners will go on to compete at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam in San Francisco.