Louder Than A Bomb Largest Youth Poetry Festival

Chicago, IL 60601



Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) is the world’s largest youth poetry festival, five weeks of events during which 120 teams from high schools, middle schools, or community organizations compete slam-style in poetry bouts.

The competition is structured around two Preliminary Bouts for each team (Weeks 1 and 2), Quarter Finals (Week 3), Semifinals (Week 4), and Finals (Week 5), with special events all poets can perform in scheduled throughout the festival.

LTAB poets must be 12-19 years of age and enrolled in a middle school, high school, or sponsored by a community organization in order to compete. Each Team must have a minimum of 4 poets and may enter up to 10 poets. Registration Fees for Teams range from $150-250, depending on how early you register.

Each Team competes in 2 Preliminary Bouts scheduled across Weeks 1 and 2 of the festival. In these bouts, each Team must send up 4 different poets performing 4 individual poems and one Group Poem, written collaboratively and performed by 4 poets. All poems must run 3 minutes or less and each poem receives a score. The top-scoring 32 teams after Preliminary Bouts advance to Quarter Finals; the top-scoring 15 teams advance to Semifinals; the top-scoring 4 teams advance to Team Finals.

If your school/organization has less than 4 poets ready to compete, you can enter up to 3 from your school/organization as Individual Poets, a.k.a. Indy Poets. Indy Poets also compete in 2 Preliminary Bouts scheduled across Weeks 1 and 2 of the festival. They only perform one poem (3 minutes or less) in each of their Preliminary Bouts, and advance in a similar structure to teams through Quarter Finals, Semifinals, and culminating in Indy Finals, which features the top-scoring 12 poets. Registration Fees for Indy Poets range from $20-40, depending on how early you register.

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