Write Here | Write Now | Speak Loud!

Teen Spoken Word Festival

May 3rd – 5th, 2024 | Seaport, MA

Thank You

Thank you to everyone who attended Write Here | Write Now | Speak Loud! 2024. We are so grateful for all the incredible poets, educators, volunteers, Mass Poetry staff members, and more who made our inaugural Teen Spoken Word Festival such a meaningful event.

As we reflect upon the festival and begin planning for next year, we would love to hear your feedback! Kindly consider completing this feedback survey by 6/15 for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Porter Square Books: Boston Edition.

Looking to participate in next year’s Teen Spoken Word Festival? Complete our interest form! 


Join us for Write Here | Write Now | Speak Loud! – Mass Poetry’s first-ever Teen Spoken Word Festival. This three-day, statewide event will take place on May 3rd – 5th, 2024, at the GrubStreet Center for Creative Writing and the Institute of Contemporary Art. It will feature team and individual poetry slams, youth-centered workshops, open mics, special events, and more. Check out our schedule for a full list of events!

Mission & Values

Write Here: This is a festival of joining communities rooted in Massachusetts’ rich history of spoken word poetry.

Write Now: This is a festival of presence — let’s be here in this moment with our minds and our bodies. “If you’re not here, you’re in the wrong place.”

Speak Loud: We want to hear what you have to say. This is a festival of raising your voice with intention. This is a festival of actively listening. This is a festival of sharing space and sharing stories.

Statement of Purpose

The Write Here | Write Now | Speak Loud! Teen Spoken Word Festival is about unity, presence, and authenticity. We want to offer a space where youth across the state of Massachusetts can come together and share their voices and experiences. This Festival does include a slam; however, competition is not the focus. The purpose of the slam competition is to make poetry fun! In the same way that playing a game is fun not because of the score but because of the act of playing! The point of the slam is the act of slamming, the art of spoken word poetry, and don’t forget, we have plenty of non-competitive events as well! Beyond the slam, we want to revitalize the youth poetry scene of Massachusetts. We want to build community by sharing a conversational space with one another: listening with open minds, speaking and acting from a body of love.

Mass Poetry’s Ode to Louder Than A Bomb

Ode to the vibrations felt in our bones when the symphony of snapping shook our souls. To every young person who found a home on a stage, found a family around a table where the feeling of fullness came from inside their notebooks, where they could look across the stage and find not their competitor but their peer, someone who bleeds the same color ink from their pens.

For more information on the history of the Festival and Spoken Word in Massachusetts click HERE! 

Land Acknowledgement

Mass Poetry acknowledges the sacred land where these stories are being written and shared. Mass Poetry and Boston, Massachusetts, are on the ancestral land of the Massachusett, Wampanoag, Nipmuc, and Agawam peoples. Many other indigenous communities have lived and moved through this land over hundreds of years and many indigenous people work and live in these regions today as they have for 13,000 years. We recognize the repeated violations of sovereignty, territory, and water perpetrated by invaders that have impacted Massachusett and Indigenous people for the last 400 years and into the present. We also affirm that this acknowledgment is insufficient. It does not undo the harm that has been done and continues to be perpetrated now against Indigenous people and their land, water, and air.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who can attend the festival?

There are certain events that are for individuals ages 19 and under ONLY, and there are certain events that are for all ages.

The following events are for ages 19 and under:

  • Workshops, open mics, and other non-competitive events taking place on Saturday
  • Participation in the Team Slam and the Individual Slam (both require pre-registration)
  • The Post-High School Resource Fair (*Please Note – adults may attend with an “Adult Chaperone” add-on ticket, secured via Eventbrite)

The following events are for all ages:

  • The Friday Night Opening Ceremony
  • Audience Access to the Team Slam Preliminaries and Finals taking place on Saturday
  • Audience Access to the Individual Slam Finals taking place on Sunday

Where can I find the schedule/list of events?

VISIT SCHED for the full schedule and festival details!

In which events can teens participate?

All events taking place at the Festival. Please note that in order to compete in the Individual and/or Team Slam, you must register beforehand. You can do so here. The deadline for Team Slam Registration is April 12th.

In which events can adults (20+) participate?

Adults can register to watch the Friday Night Ceremony, Saturday Day Team Slam Preliminaries, Saturday Night Team Slam Finals, and Sunday Night Individual Slam Finals. The other events (workshops, *Post High-School Resource Fair, etc.) are for teens (ages 19 and under) only. *Please note: teens can invite adults to accompany them to the Post High-School Resource fair. Specifications on the Post-High School Resource fair, along with other events, are available HERE.

Do I have to pay to attend?

There is no set fee to attend the Festival. Our goal is to offer accessible poetic opportunities to as many teens as possible. We do suggest that adults who attend slam performances offer a donation of $25 to $50 — help us elevate the voices of Massachusetts Youth! Donate HERE

What kinds of slam competitions are there?

There will be two types of Slam competitions at the Teen Spoken Word Festival: a Team Slam Competition and an Individual Slam Competition. Only teens (ages 13-19) can participate in the Slam Competitions.

  1. The Team Slam, taking place on Saturday, May 4th, is for registered teams of teens. In order to compete, Teen Poets must be part of a slam team that has registered previously via our Team Registration Form. The deadline for Team Registration is April 12th. This is a one-off event, meaning the winners of this slam will NOT go on to participate in anything beyond this slam.
  2. The Individual Slam, taking place on Sunday, May 5th, is a qualifying slam in which individual teens can compete for a spot on the Mass Poetry team that will be competing at the Brave New Voices Festival in Washington, D.C. during July 17th-21st. To qualify for the Individual Slam on May 5th, Teens Poets must have participated in one of the preliminary slam competitions, hosted by Mass Poetry and our partners in locations across Massachusetts throughout March and April. Details on those preliminary slams are coming soon. The top four poets of each of these preliminary slams will compete at the festival on May 5th.

For more information, check out our Individual and Team Slam pages.

What rules are there for the slam competitions?

  • Read the Team Slam Rules HERE!
  • Read the Individual Slam Rules HERE!

Besides the slam competitions, what other events can I attend?

There are plenty of non-competitive events! There will be artistic workshops, a Post-High School Resource Fair for students to explore post-High School avenues in the arts, a Dance Party in the Institute of Contemporary Art, and more! These events are for registered teens ages 19 and under. Slam Competition Viewing is open to the general public.

To see the complete schedule, click HERE!

How can I get to the GrubStreet Center for Creative Writing?

The Center for Creative Writing is located at 50 Liberty Dr. Suite 500, Boston, MA 02210. Directions are available HERE.

How can I get to the Institute of Contemporary Art?

The Institute of Contemporary Art is located at 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA 02210. Directions are available HERE.

Where can I park?

See above for directions and parking information.

What are the accessibility specifications of the festival locations?

Both the Grubstreet Center for Creative Writing and the Institute of Contemporary Art are accessible. For more information on GrubStreet, click HERE. For more information on the ICA, click HERE. Certain events will have ASL interpreters. If you have any questions regarding accessibility, please contact briana@masspoetry.org