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The Largest Youth Poetry Festival In The World!

Louder Than A Bomb

Louder Than A Bomb is a month long poetry festival that celebrates youth voice by providing a platform for poets to share their stories. LTAB features 120 Chicago land high schools competing in Olympic style poetry bouts.

Making Bridges Across the City

Over 1,200 youth from 60 different zip-codes are brought together because of Louder Than A Bomb.

Penning a new Chicago

Poets telling their stories, crafting responses to current issues, and leading at the forefront of Chicago's social justice movement.

At the heart of our festival

LTAB like all of our initiatives is a safe space for youth of all self identifications to gather in a judgement free environment. Our slam hosts set the tone for what it means to be an LTAB audience member.

Louder Than A Bomb 2016, February 13th - March 19th

Culminating with Team Finals at The Auditorium Theater on March 19th

Louder Than A Bomb Tickets

Purchase LTAB Tickets

Louder Than A Bomb Events Calendar

- free fee -
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03/04/2016 , 623 s wabash

Wreckshop & MC Olympics

Join us for WreckShop at 6pm, a workshop dedicated to the craft of writing, emceeing, and beat-making followed by the MC Olympics from 7 – 9pm, an Olympic style MC competition featuring some of Chicago’s up and coming MCs.  The event will be held at Columbia HAUS, 623 S. Wabash Avenue.   FREE

- free fee -
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02/27/16 , 1104 s wabash

Half-Pint Poetics

In Partnership with Kuumba Lynx, #LTAB is happy to present an open mic for elementary school students. 2pm-4pm at Columbia College Chicago – Conaway

- FREE fee -
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03/03/2016 , 623 s wabash

Jordan Slam

This slam is an opportunity for poets (on or off LTAB teams) to compete in duos or trios.  Space is limited and team alternates or non-competing students will be prioritized.  Duos/trios must prepare one poem that is 3 minutes or less to be performed in a one-round slam.  This event will be held from 6 – 8pm at Columbia HAUS,

- $5 fee -
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3/2/2016 , 1572 N Milwaukee

The Come Up: New Music Showcase

Curated by Kevin Coval and the Artistic Team at Young Chicago Authors, this showcase features emerging music talent from across the city at the Double Door Chicago.  Tickets will be available to the door for $5.  All ages.  This event will be held on March 2nd from 7 – 9pm at Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee Avenue.  TICKETS: The Come

- FREE fee -
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2/27/16 , 1180 N Milwaukee Chicago Il 60642

Coaches Slam and Quarterfinal Announcements

Coaches Slam and Quarterfinal Announcements:  This annual event hosts LTAB coaches as they show off their own poetry skills.  The event ends with the announcement of teams advancing to Quarterfinals.  Sign up at http://goo.gl/forms/3MgjLtnIXe by February 20th, 2016 at 5pm to participate.  For more information about the event contact Grand Master Slam Jamila Woods at jamila@youngchicagoauthors.org.  This event will be

- FREE fee -
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3/16/16 , Roosevelt University, 430 S Michigan, 2nd floor

Louder Than A Bomb Open Mics

Led by members of LTAB Youth Advisory Committee, the open mic series provides poets with opportunities to share their story in a non-competitive environment.   Match 16th – Featuring Mahogany L. Browne Signups start at 6pm and priority will be given to LTAB poets.

- $4 students, $6 adults fee -
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02/27/16 , Various locations

Louder Than A Bomb Preliminary Bouts

February 18th-20th and February 25th-27th at Columbia College Chicago Louder Than A Bomb Preliminary bouts feature all 120 Chicago-land area teams in at least 2 bouts.

- $4 students, $6 Adults fee -
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02/26/2016 , Various locations

Louder Than A Bomb Preliminary bouts

February 18th-20th and February 25th-27th at Columbia College Chicago Louder Than A Bomb Preliminary bouts feature all 120 Chicago-land area teams in at least 2 bouts.   Bout #45: Haven MS, Chute MS, Rogers Elementary, Niles West, Megan Groeller, Markal Holt, Makaveli Craig – Buy Tickets Bout #46: Little Village Lawndale, Marshall HS, Maine West, South Shore International CP, Dionte

- $4 Students, $6 Adults fee -
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02/25/2016 , Various locations

Louder Than A Bomb Preliminary bouts

February 18th-20th and February 25th-27th at Columbia College Chicago Louder Than A Bomb Preliminary bouts feature all 120 Chicago-land area teams in at least 2 bouts. Bout #36: Neuqua Valley HS, Aqsa School, Nicholas Senn HS, Niles West – SOLD OUT Bout #37: Phoenix Military Academy, Evanston Township HS, Drummond Montessori, Willowbrook, Damayanti Wallace, Haley Cao – SOLD OUT Bout #38:

- $4 students, $6 adults fee -
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03/10/2016 , Malcolm X 1900 W. Jackson

Louder Than A Bomb Quarter Finals

March 5th, 10am-9pm at Malcolm X College Louder Than A Bomb Quarter-finals features the top scoring 32 teams in a daylong series of poetry bouts. Bout #1: Lecture Hall – 10am – Northside CP, Jones CP, Chicago Military Acdmy, Glenbard East, I. Negron, L. Perez, J. Burrows – Buy Tickets Bout #5 – Conference Room – 10am – Percy L Julian, Innovations, Thornwood HS,

- $5 Students, $10 Adults fee -
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03/13/2016 , Metro Chicago 3730 N. Clark St

Louder Than A Bomb Semi-Finals

March 13th, 10am-9pm at The Metro Chicago LTAB Semi-finals features the top scoring 16 teams in a day long series of bouts.   Semi Finals Bout #1 – 10am – BUY TICKETS Maine East, Walter Payton, Thornwood HS, Kuumba Lynx Indy Poets: Serenity Brame (Glenbard East High School), Eve Robinson (Whitney Young High School), Aniyah Travis (Kenwood Academy), Kehinde Hampton

- FREE fee -
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03/16/2016 , 1180 N milwaukee Chicago Il 60642

Youth Led National Open Mic

Join our LTAB youth leaders and our national poets for an evening open mic at YCA. Mo Brown will be featuring and it will be the last practice for LTAB finalists.  

- $10 students, $20 Adults fee -
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03/17/2016 , DuSable Museum of African American History 740 East 56th Place

Louder Than A Bomb Indy Finals

March 17th, 6pm at The DuSable Museum of African American History LTAB Indy Finals features the top 12 scoring indy poets from the festival. Tickets for this event will be available soon!   Buy Tickets

- $25 - $500 fee -
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Friday, March 18th, 2016 , Metro, 3730 N. Clark St.

LTAB Sweet 16 Benefit Party

Louder Than A Bomb “Sweet 16 Benefit Party” Join our honorary co-hosts Professor Gaye Johnson, Chuck D & DJ Lord of Public Enemy for a celebration of radical youth culture and the sweet 16 anniversary of Louder Than A Bomb, Chicago’s youth poetry festival.  The evening will feature a VIP reception, an onstage interview, and a performance with our esteemed

- TBD fee -
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05/07/16 , The Promontory 5311 S Lake Park Ave

Louder Than A Prom

Louder Than A Prom is our city-wide prom. Only high school participants of #LTAB2016 are welcome. More information coming soon!     Buy Tickets

- $10 for Students, $20 for Adults fee -
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03/19/2016 , The Auditorium Theater

Louder Than A Bomb Team Finals

LTAB TEAM FINALS March 19th, 6pm at The Auditorium Theater Team Finals features the top four scoring teams from over 120 competing Chicago-Land high schools. Join the 20,000+ movement for a night of poetry, community, and a special headlining celebrity musical guest.   Buy Tickets

Founded in 2001

Founded in 2001 by Kevin Coval and Anna West, LTAB is celebrating it's 'Sweet Sixteenth' year of providing a stage for youth to gather and share their stories.

It was all a dream

Co-founder Kevin Coval saw a need for a space that would allow young people—too often marginalized by the adult world—to speak and be heard. LTAB grew rapidly as students found out about the competition and began to organize poetry clubs at their schools.

LTAB by the numbers

1,200+ youth participants across LTAB’s 5-week city-wide festival and 90+ events 3,200+ audience members at the LTAB team finals 25 -year YCA history of providing programming and opportunities for Chicago’s youth

Over 90 Events

LTAB is more than just a poetry slam. It is a month long festival filled with musical performances, artist readings and conversations, justice town-halls, and much more! Tickets are available below.

Registration for Louder Than A Bomb is as easy as 1,2,3

LTAB Registration

We are celebrating this LTAB with alumni, current students, and integral people of the festival. Checkout the series below!

Louder Than A Bomb Sweet Sixteen Series