In addition to curating a full slate of year-round educational arts programming and the annual Louder Than A Bomb youth poetry festival, Young Chicago Authors collaborates with multiple arts institutions and community organizations in Chicago and across the country on special one-off performance events featuring YCA staff and associate artists, including the current and recent projects listed below.
The Breakbeat Poets Tour
Hip-Hop is the largest youth culture in the history of the planet rock. It has produced generations of artists who have revolutionized their genre(s) by applying the aesthetic innovations of the culture. Edited by YCA Artistic Director, Kevin Coval, poet Quraysh Ali Lansana, and YCA Director of National Programming, Nate Marshall, The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop is a new anthology featuring 78 poets, born somewhere between 1961-1999, All-City and Coast-to-Coast, who are creating the next and now movement(s) in American letters. It is the first poetry anthology by and for the Hip-Hop generation.
The BreakBeat Poets are now on tour, delivering readings and workshops to high school and university classrooms, museums, and arts festivals across the country. To learn how to bring The BreakBeat Poets to your town or purchase The BreakBeat Book, visit The BreakBeat Poets website on Haymarket Books or contact booking/at/youngchicagoauthors.org.
The 3rd Monday of every month, 8-10pm
SoHo House Chicago / 113 N. Green Street
A showcase of up-and-coming musicians, artists, poets, and rappers, emceed and curated by Artistic Director Kevin Coval and hosted by SoHo House Chicago. Past featured performers include Sam Trump, Daryn Alexus, Akenya, and Avery R. Young. For ages 21 and up. Space is limited. Follow Kevin Coval on social media to see who’s up next!
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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.
Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) is the world’s largest youth poetry festival, five weeks of events during which 120 teams from high schools, middle schools, or community organizations compete slam-style in poetry bouts.
Chicago Youth Poet Laureate
The National Youth Poet Laureate program is an initiative of Urban Word, an award-winning youth literary arts and youth development organization. The Chicago Youth Poet Laureate Program has been administered by Young Chicago Authors since 2016. The Chicago Youth Poet Laureate is a young person selected from YCA's ecosystem of programs to serve as an artistic ambassador for the year. The Chicago Youth Poet Laureate receives professional development as a teaching artist and mentorship to develop a chapbook, published in partnership with Haymarket Books.
2016-2017- E’mon Lauren
2017-2018- Patricia Frazier
2018-2019- Kara Jackson