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Split This Rock Youth Programs

Split This Rock is committed to fostering the voices of the next generation of poets. Our youth programs operate year-round to offer exceptional learning, writing, bonding, travel, and performance opportunities to young people interested in the power of creative language and movements for justice.

We sponsor the Writers' GuildDC Youth Slam Team, Louder Than A Bomb – DMV, and The World & Me Poetry Contest. Our teaching artists and teens also host monthly open mics and poetry slams, and are frequently leading workshops, teaching classes, and performing for schools, community groups, NGO’s, and demonstrations. Our DC Youth Slam Team won 1st place at the 2014 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival!

Read about our BNV experience here

Watch this short video from NPR's Intern Edition highlighting what we do. 




Meet our Teaching Artists

Enter the World & Me Poetry Contest

Try out for the DC Youth Slam Team


The Writers' Guild is a collective of 6-8 youth writers at different levels of expertise who will focus solely on writing as a craft. Through weekly intensive workshops developed from university style writing courses, the Guild students will concentrate on the goal of writing, revising, and understanding how to create a body of work and establish their unique voices. This program is for the student who is dedicated to writing and eager to crafting a book of their own work, but may not necessarily be interested in slam. Apply online here

The DC Youth Slam Team uses poetry to teach and empower teens from the DC metropolitan area to speak up about issues of social justice. With annual travel to regional and national poetry slam festivals such as Brave New Voices, the team provides outstanding opportunities, training, and a platform for talented youth to develop their writing, performance, and public speaking skills with guidance from mentors and teaching artists. The team is a year-long program for students in DC and the surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia (affectionately called the DMV area). Students must currently be enrolled in middle or high school and live in the area to be eligible for the team. Learn more here.

The World & Me Student Poetry Contest is an annual social justice poetry contest for students in two categories, those 13-18 years old and those 12 and under. Entry is free and online.  Learn more here

Louder Than a Bomb DMV Teen Poetry Slam Festival is our annual gathering of local high school slam teams and after-school poetry clubs. We work with teachers and schools throughout the DC area to organize after-school poetry clubs and prepare students for this big festival every year. Get your school involved here

Hyper Bole is an individual teen poetry slam festival held in partnership with George Mason University. Teenage poets from DC, Maryland, and Virginia come together to participate in a series of preliminary slams, workshops, and open mics that will culminate in the Grand Slam Finals Saturday evening, where one student will be crowned the Hyper Bole Champion and awarded a $500 dollar prize! All day February 27, 2016. Register here

Youth Open Mic Series @ Busboys and Poets
3rd Saturday of each month 5:00 – 7:00pm

Busboys and Poets 5th & K
1025 5th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001 
Gallery Pl/ Chinatown Metro
Doors and list open at 4:30pm
Tickets $5, no refunds


Floetic Fridays Open Mic @ Metro TeenAIDS

Last Friday of each month 5:30 - 8:00pm

Metro TeenAIDS Peer Education Center
651 Pennsylvania Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20008
Eastern Market Metro
Doors and list open at 5:00pm
$FREE admission
Also free HIV & STI testing on site



Fly Language

Learn about our Sister Cities International Arts Exchange with South Africa. 




 Split This Rock youth poets at the 2014 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival. 


whats goin on now kennedy center photo

The 2012 DC Youth Slam Team performing at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.


dc youth slam team collage