About Louder Than a Bomb

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.

About

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.

LTAB 2018 will take place from Feb. 10th, 2018- March 18th, 2018.  Registration for #LTAB 2018 will open up in Winter 2017. 

We have updated some of the rules for #LTAB2018. You can read them by clicking here: 

Rule Update LTAB 2018 Rule Update LTAB 2018 (310 KB)


2018 Team Requirements

  • Complete Registration Process online
  • Attend official festival kick-off event Crossing the Street on February 11, 2017, 10am-3pm @ Tilden High School, 4747 S. Union Avenue
  • Attend 2 Preliminary Bouts, scheduled across February 15-25, 2017 (each bout runs two hours)
  • 4 poets ready to perform 4 individual poems and 1 group poem (5 total) by the start of Preliminary Bouts

2017 Indy Poet Requirements

  • Complete Registration Process online
  • Attend official festival kick-off event Crossing the Street on February 11, 2017, 10am-3pm @ Tilden High School, 4747 S. Union Avenue
  • Attend 2 Preliminary Bouts, scheduled across February 15-25, 2017 (each bout runs two hours)
  • 1-3 poets ready to perform 1 poem each by the start of Preliminary Bouts

Most teams meet once a week, then more frequently in the week leading up to Prelims. Scholarships or sliding scale payments are available for qualifying teams or poets. Preliminary Bouts are scheduled in advance so coaches and poets can plan their transportation accordingly.


For more information, visit the other LTAB tabs or email Festival Coordinator Bayana Davis at bayana/at/youngchicagoauthors.org, or call (773) 486-4331.