Louder Than A Bomb is the largest teen poetry festival in the world. Aiming to bring teens together across racial, gang, and socio-economic lines, Louder Than A Bomb provides friendly competition that emphasizes self-expression and community through poetry, oral storytelling, and hip-hop spoken word.
The festival is an Olympic-style poetry competition, featuring 70 teams and 650 students in 2011. During the festival, there are also plenty of noncompetitive events such as this Reading by Amalia Ortiz and Paul Martinez.
Amalia Ortiz is a Tejana actor/writer/activist, now living in California, and the creator and star of Otra Esa on the Public Transit, a powerful one-woman stage show about destination and destiny. Amalia performed on three seasons of Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry on HBO and the NAACP Image Awards on FOX. Amalia's poem "Women of Juárez" was published in the 2006 textbook, The Line ...Between Us, by ground-breaking publisher Rethinking Schools. Amalia has performed for the First Lady at the National Book Festival in D.C. Her poetry tours include South by Southwest (twice), the Def Poetry College Tour, Slam America National Bus Tour and the documentary Busload of Poets. She coached for Brave New Voices' youth poetry camp and slam championship in San José, after touring California with MadMedia/Reset Collective's What Are You Doing Tonight?.
Paul Martínez Pompa earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and served as a poetry editor for Indiana Review. His chapbook, Pepper Spray, was published by Momotombo Press in 2006. In 2007, his poetry and prose appeared in two anthologies: The Wind Shifts, New Latino Poetry and Telling Tongues, A Latin@ Anthology on Language Experience. His first, full-length collection of poetry, My Kill Adore Him, was selected by Martín Espada as winner of the 2008 Andres Montoya Poetry Prize and was published by the University of Notre Dame Press in 2009. He now lives in Chicago and teaches composition, poetry and creative writing at Triton College in River Grove, Illinois.
Louder Than a Bomb is co-presented by Columbia College Chicago and Vocalo 89.5FM/WBEZ 91.5FM.
YOUNG CHICAGO AUTHORS is grateful for support from Alphawood Foundation, Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development, The Boeing Company, C.N.A. Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Tribune Foundation, The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs-CityArts Program 2, Chicago Public Media (WBEZ 91.5 FM), Columbia College Chicago, Crown Family Philanthropies, Just Indulge, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Lovely Bake Shop, Illinois Arts Council, MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, McCormick Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The Poetry Foundation, Sahara Enterprises, Inc., Schopf & Weiss Charitable Giving Fund, Speh Family Foundation, and contributions from many individual donors and community partners.