Louder Than A Bomb

“A Celebration of the talent of our children and our young adults here in our city” — Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, City of Chicago

Louder Than a Bomb was founded in 2000 by Young Chicago Authors (YCA) Artistic Director Kevin Coval and poet and former YCA Executive Director Anna West.

The annual Louder Than A Bomb teen poetry slam engages schools and community organizations from all over the Chicago area. This friendly competition gathers the best and brightest young writers (age 13-19) from thoughout the region with the winners going on to represent Chicago at the national level. Louder Than A Bomb is a safe space that emphasizes community building, education, and youth empowerment. By carrying on the rich tradition of oral storytelling and the spoken word, this competition historically engages more than 350 youth participants representing over 40 schools and community centers to share stories, break stereotypes, and speak the truth, challenging themselves and their audience.

For more on the festival, and Young Chicago Authors, visit: http://www.youngchicagoauthors.org


In 2011, filmmakers Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel released their documentary, Louder Than a Bomb, to wide acclaim. LOUDER THAN A BOMB chronicles the stereotype-confounding stories of four teams as they prepare for and compete in the 2008 event. By turns hopeful and heartbreaking, the film captures the tempestuous lives of these unforgettable kids, exploring the ways writing shapes their world, and vice versa. This is not “high school poetry” as we often think of it. This is language as a joyful release, irrepressibly talented teenagers obsessed with making words dance. How and why they do it—and the community they create along the way—is the story at the heart of the inspiring film.

For more on the film, visit: http://www.louderthanabombfilm.com/