Youth Speaks Announces 17th Annual Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam

Apr 01, 2013, 16:17 ET from Youth Speaks

The largest event of its kind in the country, competition celebrates National Poetry Month and features over 500 youth poets from the Bay Area this April and May

SAN FRANCISCO, April 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Youth Speaks, the country's leading nonprofit presenter of spoken word performance, education and youth development programs, will present the 17th annual Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam, a dynamic, tournament-style competition that brings together more than 500 youth poets from throughout the Bay Area.

Founded in San Francisco in 1996, Youth Speaks hosted the first-ever teen poetry slam in the country the following year and it remains the largest, most anticipated event of its kind. Open to any youth aged 13-19, the annual slam (a poetry writing and performance competition with Olympic-style scoring) features hundreds of young writers from throughout the Bay Area and Northern California celebrating youth voice, social activism, literacy and lyricism. It attracts some 10,000 audience members throughout a series of preliminary bouts, semi-finals and The Grand Slam Finals of the Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam.

The 2013 Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam takes place during the month of April, which is also National Poetry Month, and features three back-to-back weekends of slams beginning on April 12 with a final, Grand Slam event in May. The eight preliminary bouts will be held at various community venues in San Francisco and the East Bay such as 826 Valencia, Mama Art Cafe, the Subterranean Art House in Berkeley, RYSE Center in Richmond, and ProArts Gallery in Oakland. The winners of those preliminary slams will participate in four semi-finals, resulting in 16 finalists that will battle it out in the Grand Slam Finals on Saturday, May 11, at 7 p.m. at the 1,800-seat Nourse Theatre in San Francisco.

The six winners of the Grand Slam Finals will go on to represent the Bay Area in the Youth Speaks Brave New Voices Festival, August 6-11 in Chicago, where teams from all over the world are invited to participate in a weeklong, intensive series of workshops, poetry slams and get-togethers where they can exchange art and viewpoints and their mentors can exchange pedagogy and best practices.

The Grand Slam Finals historically sell out with a standing-room-only capacity crowd. Proceeds from benefit Youth Speaks' Bay Area youth education programs and aid in subsidizing after-school and in-school poetry workshops for more than 15,000 teenagers across the greater Bay Area.

The following is the schedule of the 2013 Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam Preliminary Bouts, Semi-Finals and Grand Slam Finals:

Preliminary Bouts

  • Friday, April 12, 5-7 p.m. & 7-9 p.m., 826 Valencia, 826 Valencia St., San Francisco (Free)
  • Friday, April 12, 7-9 p.m., Subterranean Art House, 2179 Bancroft Way, Berkeley (Free)
  • Saturday, April 13, 3-5 p.m., RYSE Center, 205 41st St., Richmond (Free)
  • Saturday, April 13, 1-3 p.m. & 3-5 p.m., Mama Art Café, 4754 Mission St., San Francisco (Free)
  • Saturday, April 13, 1-3 p.m. & 3-5 p.m., ProArts Gallery, 150 Frank H Ogawa Plaza, Oakland (Free)


  • Friday, April 19, 7-9 p.m., The David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley (Free)
  • Saturday, April 20, 7-9 p.m., Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St., Oakland (Free)
  • Friday, April 26, 7-9 p.m., Children's Creativity Museum (Zeum), 221 Fourth St.,
    San Francisco (Free)
  • Saturday, April 27, 7-9 p.m., Children's Creativity Museum (Zeum), 221 Fourth St.,
    San Francisco (Free)

The Grand Slam Finals of the Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam                                 

  • Saturday, May 11, 7 p.m., The Nourse Theatre, 275 Hayes St., San Francisco ($18 general admission; $6 youth under 24 and seniors over 65; $50-$300 VIP)

Admission to the preliminary bouts and semifinals is free. Tickets to the Grand Slam Finals are $18 for general admission, $6 for youth (24 and under) and seniors (65 and over).

VIP ticket holders are treated to a pre-show reception at 5:30 p.m., and VIP balcony seating. A portion of the proceeds from Gold and Platinum VIP ticket holders will subsidize up to 40 tickets to the Grand Slam Finals for youth attendees. VIP tickets are $50, Gold VIP tickets are $150 (includes subsidized tickets for 15 youth; $100 is tax deductible) and Platinum VIP tickets are $300 (includes subsidized tickets for 40 youth; $250 is tax deductible).

For tickets and additional information, please visit

About Youth Speaks Inc.
Founded in 1996, Youth Speaks is the leading nonprofit presenter of Spoken Word performance, education, and youth development programs in the country. Presenters of local and national youth poetry slams, festivals, reading series', and more, Youth Speaks also offers a comprehensive slate of literary arts education programs during the school day and after school, and provides numerous publication and youth development programs. All together Youth Speaks works with 45,000 teens per year in the Bay Area and has created partner programs in 60 cities across the United States.

For more information please visit

SOURCE Youth Speaks