Columbia College Chicago and Vocalo 89.5/WBEZ 91.5 present the Young Chicago Authors production “Louder Than A Bomb: The 11th Annual Chicago Youth Poetry Festival,” Feb. 19-March 12 at various venues.
Previous to the poetry bouts, see the film Louder Than A Bomb, by filmmakers Greg Jacobs and Joe Siskel, based on this event. They find a stunning story in Chicago’s annual teen poetry slam, in which teams from more than 60 Chicago-area high schools compete. This film is winner of the Audience Choice Award and a Special Jury Prize at the Chicago International Film Festival, as well as many other festival awards. The film will be shown for one week only, Feb. 4-10, at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago. Tickets are on sale now at ticketmaster.com and the Siskel Center box office, 164 N. State St.—get ’em before they sell out! The filmmakers will be there, and there will be special guest appearances by the Steinmenauts, Kevin Coval and more.
The 11th Annual Chicago Youth Poetry Festival kicks off Friday, Feb. 18, with a YCCS reading from 1-4 p.m. at Hull House, 800 S. Halsted,. Saturday, Feb. 19, “Crossing the Street” will be held from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Latin School (for participants only).
Columbia College Chicago bouts are as follows: Friday, Feb. 25—Stage 2, 618 S. Michigan; Ferguson, 600 S. Michigan, plus a 7 p.m. Roger Bonair-Agard and Idris Goodwin Showcase (featuring Urban Heroes) at 618 S. Michigan Ave.
Saturday, Feb. 26—Ferguson, 600 S. Michigan;1104 S. Michigan, with a 2 p.m. Half-Pint Poetics Open Mic at Conaway, 1104 S. Wabash.
Sunday, Feb. 27—Ferguson, 600 S. Michigan, Stage 2, 618 S. Michigan, with a 2 p.m. Amalia Ortiz workshop.
Monday, Feb. 28—618 S. Michigan, with a 7 p.m. performance by Buddy Wakefield at 1104 S. Wabash, presented by Silver Tongue Reading Series and verbatim. Free admission.
Tuesday, March 1 and Wednesday, March 2—1104 S. Wabash, bouts 21-24 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Thursday, March 3—1104 S. Wabash, bouts 25 and 26, plus Rachel McKibbens & Shannon Matesky and others, at 6 p.m.; College Prelim No. 1 at 8 p.m
Friday, March 4—1104 S. Wabash, bouts 27-28, Haiku Slam, Emcee Olympics, and College Prelims No. 2 and 3, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., with a 4 p.m. Rachel McKibbens workshop at 618 S. Michigan.
Saturday, March 5—Stage 2, 618 S. Michigan, bouts 29-31 and Ferguson, 600 S. Michigan, bouts 32-34; 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with 4 p.m. College Finals at 618 S. Michigan.
Sunday, March 6—Stage 2, 618 S. Michigan, bouts 35 and 36–10 a.m. to noon. “Using Spoken Word” panel discussion at 2 p.m., and Coaches Slam at 4 p.m.
Monday, March 7—Semi-Finals at Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St., bouts 1-4, top 16 teams, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Wednesday, March 9—Indy-Finals, 7 p.m. at Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.
Saturday March 12—Team Finals, 6 p.m. at Vic Theater, 3145 N. Sheffield Ave.
Tickets and more are available at youngchicagoauthors.org. All preliminary bouts are $3 for students, $5 for adults. Group rates are available with Shannon Matesky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Young Chicago Authors is supported by Alphawood Foundation, Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development, The Boeing Company, C.N.A. Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Tribune Foundation, The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs—City Arts Program 2, Chicago Public Media (WBEZ 91.5 FM), Columbia College Chicago, Crown Family Philanthropies, Just Indulge, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Lovely Bake Shop, Illinois Arts Council, MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, McCormick Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The Poetry Foundation, Sahara Enterprises, Inc., Schopf & Weiss Charitable Giving Fund, Speh Family Foundation, and contributions from many individual donors and community partners.