"People wish to be poets more than they wish to write poetry, and that's a mistake. One should wish to celebrate more than one wishes to be celebrated."  Lucille Clifton

Louder Than a Bomb 


As one of the premier youth spoken word festivals in the nation, Louder Than a Bomb – DMV (LTAB-DMV) is a team-centered poetry festival that purposefully assembles students together across lines of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, geography, sexuality, socio-economic status, and political ideology to listen to, to learn from, and to bond with one another.  

The festival consists of two weeks of poetry workshops, spoken word competitions, critical discussions, and an exhilarating slam tournament. Each year over one-thousand eager audience members unite to hear the stories and poetic voice of over 200 young people, thus promoting a culture of literacy, critical thought, self-confidence, and powerful public speaking.   

Hyper Bole

The Hyper Bole is the largest individual youth poetry slam and festival in Virginia.  Teenage poets from D.C., Maryland, and Virginia come together to participate in a series of individual preliminary slams, workshops, and open mics that culminates in the Grand Slam Finals in the evening, where one student will be crowned the year's Hyper Bole Champion and awarded a $500 dollar scholarship!  The all-day event is held on the campus of George Mason University in the winter.  All high school students, regardless if they are part of an existing poetry club or not, are eligible to participate and/or compete in this event.  

The Hyper Bole is a collaboration between poetryN.O.W., Split This Rock, and George Mason University’s Patriot Activities Council. 

Youth Open Mics

Youth-focused and youth-led, our Youth Open Mic is a monthly series that features student poets, singers, musicians, and actors from the DC/Maryland/Virginia area. Middle school and high school students are encouraged to come share their art in our supportive, progressive, artistic atmosphere. The Youth Open Mic is presented in partnership with Busboys and Poets.  

Our D.C. Youth Open Mic is held at the Busboys and Poets 5th & K location every 3rd Saturday from 5:00-7:00 p.m.