We would like to congratulate Shivani Narang, 19, of Berkeley, our new Grand Slam Champion. Additionally, we congratulate and acknowledge the other poets who will represent the Bay Area at Youth Speaks’ Brave New Voices Festival in Washington, DC, July 12-16, 2016:

Tamia Romo * 17, Oakland
Maya Greenhill * 17, San Francisco
Gracia Mwamba * 18, Hayward
Shivani Narang * 19, Berkeley
Ajai Wilborn * 13, Oakland
Melanie Harra * 16, San Francisco

About The Slam

Two decades ago, we hosted the country’s first-ever teen poetry slam. Forty-three young poets participated, with hundreds turned away at the door. Now, the annual event features close to 200 youth writers, emcees, and performers from throughout the Bay Area and Northern California, and attracts nearly 10,000 audience members. Our first slam became the seed that sowed a global youth poetry movement.

The Olympic-style poetry competition kicked off on February 18, 2016 the first preliminary bout at EastSide Arts Alliance in Oakland. Young writers and poets ages 13-19 have registered for preliminary bouts in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley. All preliminary and semi-final bouts are free and open to the public. Grand Slam Finals will took place at the historic Davies Symphony Hall on Saturday, April 16 at 7:30pm. This culminating event served as the catalyst to our milestone 20th Anniversary Celebration.

2016 Slam Guidebook

Watch 2015 Highlights

50 Shades of Land


An Open Letter to Cis People

Safe In The Rain

Past Teen Poetry Slam Finals




Youth Speaks

Youth Speaks