Under 21 Open Mic

Our Open Mics are where poets perform new work and build bonds with young artists locally, and with our online open mics, globally.

Under 21 Open Mic
+ Teen Poetry Slam

September 9 - May 11

Sign Up

Youth Speaks Under 21 Open Mics have wrapped for the school year, but you can still rock the mic at the Teen Poetry Slam semis and prelims for the chance to be crowned Teen Poetry Slam Champion. Sign up to join us.

Teen Poetry Slam

For over 25 years, Youth Speaks' Teen Poetry Slam has propelled spoken word around the globe. Youth from all over the Bay compete to become a finalist and rep the Bay Area at the Brave New Voices Festival – a 4-day international youth poetry festival celebrating arts education, performance, and civic engagement.

The Teen Poetry Slam and the Brave New Voices Festival is a tradition celebrating some of the most astounding young writers and performers around the world and is open to anyone 13-19 years old.

Bring your best poem to compete for a $50 prize and the chance to advance to the Teen Poetry Slam Finals. The signup list is first come first serve and opens at 5:00 pm, the show starts at 6:00!

Poetry Slams are an Olympic-style competition where poets have 3 minutes to rock the stage, mic, and audience with 5 judges giving scores. The Teen Poetry Slam consists of 3 rounds — Preliminaries, Semi-finals, and Finals.

The top-scoring poets in each preliminary bout move on to the semifinals and the top 6 highest scoring individuals from the Slam Finals are invited to represent Team Bay Area at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival taking place in Washington D.C. this summer.

Grab your tickets today!

Think you got the heat to compete? Register for the Teen Poetry Slam at bit.ly/regusterforys24.

The Teen Poetry Slam is only open to Bay Area teens. 


Prelim #2

Friday, February 23
Oakland Museum of California (OMCA)
James Moore Theater
1000 Oak Street, Oakland


Friday, March 22
The Koret @ SFPL Main Branch
100 Larkin Street, San Francisco

Fri • Apr 19 • 6:30pm
Taube Atrium Theater 4th Floor
401 Van Ness, SF

VIP: Wilsey Education Studio
4th Floor, 401 Van Ness, SF

Over 12 poets and other artists take the stage for a night of poetry and narrative. We are excited to have our signature event. Youth from all over the Bay will be performing original poems for the chance to become champions and represent the Bay at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival. We want youth and families to pack the house for the premiere youth event of the year.

COVID Protocol

As we continue to explore new opportunities to gather & build community within an ever-changing world, here is an update on the ways we will continue to practice harm reduction & remain accountable to your safety.

In the interest of maintaining a safe and accountable environment for all participants, failure to abide by these protocols can result in ineligibility to participate in Youth Speaks activities.