The largest youth poetry contest in the world is coming to Cincinnati. A Poetry Slam, Louder Than a Bomb (LTAB) began in 2001, born from the streets of Chicago and the growing uneasiness following the attacks of 9/11, the passage of anti-gang / loitering laws, and radical gentrification occurring throughout the city. The not-for-profit organization Young Chicago Authors sought the voice of youth that were being ostracized and disenfranchised generally but specifically in their own schools, because they were rarely, if ever, asked to be present or to represent their actual, everyday lives.

As they say in Chicago, the point is not the points, the point is the poetry. Through poetry, our city's youth will engage one another, hearing each other's stories, reflecting on what it means to be a youth in Cincinnati today. The program breaks down the appearance of otherness—a separateness from one another, leading to increased isolation and confrontational attitudes and actions. It would not be unfair to say that "points for poems is silly." The value of the program is that it offers a vehicle for the voice of the youth, while providing mentorship and guidance, personal confidence, an improved sense of agency, and a broader understanding of others, all the while increasing literacy and community among young students through competition.

The majority of youth in Cincinnati live in poverty, in one of the most gentrified cities in the US, and with high racial tensions. Our youth are disenfranchised and disillusioned. Their voice has been quashed and their agency is absent. But they have unique experiences. They have a story to tell. Join us for Louder Than A Bomb – Cincinnati, as we give voice and a platform to today's youth. Be a part of the largest poetry slam contest on the face of the earth!

Participating schools will have 4 – 8 student poets and a teacher leading them through a set curriculum. Teachers will be support by local and national teaching artists, a series of professional development workshops, and participating organizations.


4 PM, Oct. 23 5pm
Featuring Siri Imani
Finnytown Jr. High School

5:30 PM, Nov. 8
Featuring Siri Imani
Loction TBA

4 PM, Nov.29
Featuring Quiet Storm
Jr. High Event
Loction TBA

5:30 PM, Dec. 6
Featuring B Shatter
Loction TBA

5:30 PM, Jan. 10
Featuring Taylor Jones
Loction TBA


5:30, Jan. 26
Featuring Gifted
Loction TBA

Crossing the Streets

4 PM, Febr.16
UC-Uptown, African American Cultural and Resource Center
60 W Charlton St, Cincinnati, OH


10 AM, Mar. 16

Indy Finals

7 PM, Apr 5
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center


Team Finals

7:30 PM, Apr 6
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center



Sean Keating-Crawford
Program Manager, Taft Research Center