Louder Than a Bomb poetry slam gives voice to local teens


Students from all across the tristate area will participate in the final round of the world's largest youth poetry slam, Louder Than a Bomb (LTAB), on Saturday, April 9 at the School for Creative and Performing Arts.

DePaul Cristo Rey, Walnut Hills, Hughes and Elementz Hip Hop Youth Center students, as well as 15 individual students from various schools, will use spoken word and poetry to describe their experiences growing up in the Queen City. LTAB, born in Chicago in 2001 as a way to give ostracized and disenfranchised youth a platform to share their unheard stories through poetry, allows youth to engage with one another, tell their own stories and listen to the stories of their peers. 

Desirae "The Silent Poet" Hosley is a spoken word artist, poet, author and community organizer who has worked as a LTAB coach since 2014. 
Desirae Hosley
"I love working with these amazing teens because I get a chance to be that ear for them," Hosley says. "They just want to be heard. Being a teaching artist that focuses on performance, I was able to connect on a level that made their poem come to life and, not only did it come to life, it helped everyone see the fight in their eyes and sincerity of their poetry."

Coaches work with students, mentoring and guiding them as they find creative ways to tell their stories on stage. Hosley herself has seen teens speak about hard-to-discuss issues like poverty, race and sexual orientation in front of a bunch of strangers.

Being able to have a platform to be heard gives students a boost of self-confidence. 

"One thing that separates each teen poet from the masses is that they had the courage to step on stage and become vulnerable in room of people who don't know their story," Hosley says. "And in that moment, they will grow an inch taller and stronger in who they are."

Do Good:

Register for free tickets to Louder Than a Bomb at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at SCPA's Corbett Theater, 108 W. Central Pkwy., Downtown/Over-the-Rhine.

• Read about previous Louder Than a Bomb competitions winners

• Find out how you can get involved with Louder Than a Bomb by visiting its website
 
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