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 will take place between March 15 and April 22, 2023. This is the first time that the festival will take 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.”

If you would like to attend an Interested Coaches Meeting please register here.

Tickets: Tickets for Rooted & Radical events will launch in early February.

Volunteer: Register here to help us with the festival

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

Pre-Festival Events

Indy registration Opens Up: December 9th – LIVE Now!

Team registration Opens Up: December 9th- LIVE Now!

January Interested Coaches Meeting: January 17th 5pm

February Interested Coaches Meeting: February 13th 5pm

Winter Block Party: Saturday February 18th

Festival Events

Pre-Lims Week 1: Wed-Sat March 15-18th at the DuSable Black History Museum & Education Center

Pre-Lims Week 2: Wed-Sat March 22-25th at the DuSable Black History Museum & Education Center

Aux Events (Open to All): M-F, March 27th-31st

All Star Prep Shops: M-Th, April 10-April 13

Semi Finals Showcase: Saturday April 15th at the DuSable Black History Museum & Education Center

Prep Shops (Open to All): M-Th, April 17th- 20th

R&R Finals Showcase: Saturday, April 22nd at UIC Dorin Forum

Please check back for updates!