Due to the state-wide COVID-19 quarantine Young Chicago Authors has suspended all in-person programming. Please see our calendar for our virtual program offerings.


The success of Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB), the largest youth poetry festival in the world, has led to partner poetry festivals in cities across the United States and Canada, all started by local organizations and individuals who have been inspired by YCA’s pedagogy and practice.

YCA has become a global incubator for youth spoken word and literary arts programming and, through our annual National Symposium, a meeting point where organizations can share best practices and models for youth engagement.

Global Success

LTAB National Symposium

LTAB National Map

YCA’s annual National Symposium takes place during LTAB Chicago, providing national partners with professional development workshops and a front-row view of how we produce our festival. The Symposium connects educators and organizers interested in developing educational practices based in the poetry of witness, hip-hop pedagogy, and cultural literacy. The three-day summit culminates in attendance at LTAB Team Finals, and is open to current LTAB member sites, prospective member sites, and individuals interested in learning more about the LTAB model.

Over the course of three days, National Organizers will engage in workshops and critical conversations centered around starting or expanding a local LTAB site. Organizers will co-imagine what year-round arts education programming leading up to LTAB could look like. The symposium is facilitated by Young Chicago Authors Staff and Teaching Artists as well as special presentations from regional LTAB partners. The link to register is below.

The 2020 Louder Than a Bomb National Symposium runs March 20-22, 2020, in Chicago.

This year, our theme is "What's Really Good?: A National Symposium on BreakBeat Education & Culture"

This year we will explore the ways BreakBeat culture and education have been and are continuously influenced by young creatives, hip hop poetics, and the myriad expressions of music, art, and dance. The power of the BreakBeat movement is in its roots; the foundation of the movement is in hip hop's ethos of self expression, community representation, freshness, innovation, frequency to engage the socio political and personal, the taboo and topical, a desire to return poetry to the people, to use the art or story to incite and inspire change.

Throughout the weekend, guest presenters will share the magic behind powerful programs, cultural moments, and inspiring resources that fuel the BreakBeat Industry. Additionally, the Symposium attendees will be guests at the 20th Anniversary Team Finals of the Louder Than A Bomb Youth Poetry Festival.

We're excited to gather the national and international field as we continue to share knowledge and build capacity together.

There is no registration fee for the event but there is limited space, so please register soon.

Each group is responsible for their own housing and transportation. We will be working to coordinate discounted housing in Chicago but encourage attendees to consider alternative housing options such as Airbnb or Hosteling International.

Current cities where LTABs are held:

Hamilton, ON

For more information, please contact Mariah Neuroth at mariah@youngchicagoauthors.org.