The Rooted & Radical Youth Poetry Festival (R&R) is an annual event that hosts more than 500 youth poets throughout four weeks of bouts, workshops, and special events. Students representing 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 second 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 empower the youth poets to use their voices to celebrate one another through our student voting system. The theme this year is Ever Changing– inspired by quotes on change from James Baldwin and Alice Walker.

The festival took place between March 15 and April 22, 2023. This was the first time that the festival took place in person with events designed to elevate cultural and creative community for participants.

The theme, Ever Changing, is inspired by quotes from James Baldwin, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced” and Alice Walker, “We should learn to accept that change is truly the only thing going on always, and learn to ride with it and enjoy it.”

Merchandise: Official 2023 Rooted & Radical Hoodies are available for pre-sale!

Rules: Read the 2023 Official Rules PDF and the 2023 FAQs PDF for more information on how the festival works 

If you’re lucky enough to be in Chicago during the world’s largest youth poetry festival, you’ve hit the jackpot. (LTAB/R&R) is continuously one of the most hyped and electric arts events that the city has to offer.” – THECULTURETRIP.COM

Rooted & Radical 2023 is complete. Please check back for video & other updates!