Young Chicago Authors is proud to announce our Rooted & Radical Youth Poetry Festival, previously named Louder Than A Bomb (archived content). 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 festival took place during National Poetry Month, April 2022. Most of the festival was held in the virtual space and contained events designed to maintain the feel of “community” that was so memorable when we were in-person. The finals event was in-person at the DuSable Museum of African American History (details below). Replay of last year’s festival is available to watch below.

2022 Schedule:

Main Events:

4/6 – 4/9 Week 1 – Preliminary Bouts
4/11 – 4/16 Week 2 – Prep Shops open to all writers:

Mon, 4/11: 6:30 – 8PM – “Run It Back” Editing Workshop with Christie Valentine-Bati + C. Lofty Bolling
Wed, 4/13: 6:30 – 8PM – Write 90-Second Poems like Lucile Cliftons workshop with E’mon
Thur, 4/14: 6:30 – 8PM – Land of Growing “Where I’m From” Workshop with Matt Muse
Fri, 4/15: 6:30 – 8PM – “Let the Heart Speak” Workshop with Dominique
Sat, 4/16: 1 – 2:30PM – “Ode to Odes” Workshop with Chima + Robin Reid Drake

4/18 – 4/23 Week 3 – All-City Teams Prep Shop (open only to advancing poets)
4/30. Week 4 – All Star Teams Finals + Awards Showcase (see below)

Auxiliary Events:

April 21st – Nue’s Book Release Party – will take place at 167 N. Green Street + is FREE to attend: however, you must RSVP. There will be guest poets, and an interview with E’mon + Nue, Nue will read poems from their book entitled “Waning” and sign purchased copies. (In-person from 6:30 – 9PM)
April 22nd – Queeriosity – An evening of Reiki healing + a Shadow workshop by Sajedah + Ora (via Applause from 6-8PM)
April 23rd – Halal if You Hear Me – A celebration filled with musical performances + poetry (via Applause from 5:30 – 7:30PM)
April 24th – Toni Morrison ICON Slam – A friendly slam for Black Fems (via Applause from 6-8PM)
April 27th – Emcee Olympics – A friendly emcee competition open to the first 8 emcees who sign-up. (via Applause from 6:30 – 8PM)
April 28th – Pachanga! – An open mic + celebration of Latinx voices! (via Applause from 6:30-8:30PM)

Finals Event:

April 30th – All Star Teams Finals + Awards Showcase from 6:30-8:30PM and you’re all invited! 28 Poets will touch the stage – 20 All-Star Team Members + 8 Award Winners.
Location: DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E 56th Place, Chicago 60637.

Rooted & Radical 2021 Replay

YouTube player