Louder Than a Bomb – Tacoma: The Teen Poetry-Slam Festival returns in March

This March, Louder Than a Bomb-Tacoma: The Teen Poetry-Slam Festival (LTAB-Tacoma) returns for its fourth year in a row, showcasing poetry written and performed by teens throughout the greater Tacoma area. Festival events feature over 100 youth participants, representing over 20 schools and community organizations in Pierce, Thurston and King Counties. LTAB-Tacoma is a positive, community-building poetry-slam in which “the points are not the point, the point is the poetry.” It was founded in 2016 and is modelled after the original Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) festival in Chicago. LTAB-Tacoma has more than doubled in size since it was founded and continues to play a vital role in cultivating creative self-expression among local youth.


The 2019 LTAB-Tacoma festival opens with preliminary rounds at Museum of Glass (1801 Dock St.) on Friday, March 15 (9 a.m.-2 p.m.) and Washington State History Museum (1911 Pacific Ave.) on Saturday, March 16 (10 a.m.-7 p.m.) and Sunday, March 17 (3-5 p.m.). Finals rounds will take place at Fawcett Hall – Alma Mater (1322 Fawcett Ave.) at 6 p.m. on March 23. Preliminary and finals rounds include live DJs, special guests and a fun and supportive environment for poets and audience alike. Events are all-ages and free for school-aged youth. Adults are encouraged to pay a suggested door price of $10 at LTAB-Tacoma finals competitions (although no one will be turned away at the door).

LTAB-Tacoma will also feature its first-ever College-Age Independent Poetry Slam, taking place on March 16. The “College Indie Slam” will feature poets ages 19-24 competing for an opportunity to perform in front of hundreds of audience members during LTAB-Tacoma finals. The College Indie Slam will be held at  Anthem Coffee (1911 Pacific Ave.) in downtown Tacoma, at 2 p.m.

In addition, this year’s poetry festival includes a Live-Recording of The Prickly Pear Podcast on March 20 at King’s Books (218 St. Helens Ave.). The live-recording will showcase special guests and poets José Olivarez and Britteney Black Rose Kapri. Olivarez and Kapri, both of whom are nationally recognized and published poets, will join The Prickly Pear Podcast host Christina Butcher and Tacoma poet Michael Haeflinger in a conversation about art, creativity and community. The live-recording will take place at 7 p.m. It’s a free and public event.

LTAB-Tacoma is presented by Write253, with community partners Alma Mater, Tacoma Community College’s Office of Student Engagement and Washington State History Museum. It is partially funded by the Tacoma Arts Commission. For information, contact Christina Butcher at Christina@write253.com, or visit www.write253.com.

Write253 is looking for a volunteer coordinator to help with our annual teen, team poetry slam, LTAB-Tacoma. Duties include coordinating and scheduling volunteers for LTAB-Tacoma events in March 2019 and serving as a day-of contact for volunteers.

If you’re unfamiliar with LTAB-Tacoma, it’s an annual teen poetry festival showcasing youth poets, ages 13-19, performing original work in a slam-style competition. The slam is a friendly competition, one where the points are not the point, the point is the poetry. If you’re interested or know someone who’d be a good fit, contact Christina Butcher at christina@write253.com.

**Please note this is a volunteer position**

– Tacoma Arts Commission

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