While UW’s visibility as a national organization is due largely to a handful of annual high-profile events and performances, its daily workshops and residencies are the core of the organization. Everyday, UW holds dynamic, safe and relevant (and free!) creative writing workshops for teens, both on site in Manhattan and across the five boroughs of New York City. These workshops often serve as initial entry points and incubators for youth participation in the organization’s other key programs.
UW’s annual poetry slam programs are among the most rigorous and competitive in the country – each year electing 6 youth to represent NYC at Brave New Voices, the national youth poetry slam competition. Since Brave New Voices’ inception in 1998, UW has won the competition 4 times, and ranked among the top 5 teams in the nation for each of the 11 years.
Open Mics are safe, uncensored spaces for teen poets, spoken word artists, emcess, activists and scholars to share their powerful and important voice and message. These events are hosted by the Word Wide Youth Leadership Board and are run for teens by teens with youth DJs hosts and a monthly featured poet.