The Rooted & Radical Youth Poetry Festival (R&R) is an annual event that hosts more than 500 youth poets throughout four weeks of showcases, workshops, and special events. Participating poets enrolled in both middle schools and high schools in the Chicago area perform original solo and group poems for over 7,000 audience members throughout the course of the festival!

Young Chicago Authors is proud to announce its third annual Rooted & Radical Youth Poetry Festival, previously named Louder Than A Bomb. This newly imagined festival rethinks scoring and judging to empower participants and get back to the heart of creating a community for young people to share their stories in a non-competitive environment. We want to further empower youth poets to use their voices to celebrate one another through our student voting system. The theme this year is Joy!– inspired by Ross Gay’s quote, “Joy is the mostly invisible, the underground union between us, you and me, which is, among other things, the great fact of our life and the lives of everyone.”

The festival took place between February 10 – March 22, 2024


    • Kickoff Event – for participating poets and coaches only: February 10
    • Preliminary Bouts: February 17 – March 3
    • Semi Finals: March 16
    • Finals Showcase: March 22





    • Title Sponsors

    • Presenting Sponsor

    • Community Sponsors