Our annual poetry slam programs are among the most rigorous
and competitive in the country, and we’ve ranked among the
top 5 teams in the nation for each of the past 11 years.

Calling all teen lyricists, poets, rappers, and writers of the creatively inclined category — if you’ve got the gift of words and are ready to share it with the world, sign up for a Preliminary Slam!

To qualify, you must fall between the ages of 13-19. If you are already 19 years old, your birthday MUST be after 7/1/1998. You will not be able to enter the competition if you turn 20 before the Brave New Voices competition in Summer 2017. For any questions regarding Slam, visit our FAQ here.

View the Preliminary Slam schedule and when signing up, please specify which Preliminary Slam at which you would like to read. After that, all you have to do is sit back and wait for an e-mail detailing where you need to be, and what you will need in order to perform. We honor all styles of poetry, spoken word, hip-hop and manifesto.

Online Registration Closed*

*Registration still open and available at each preliminaries’s respective venue.

If you can find it in your schedule, you may also want to consider taking one of our Student Workshops.

Gearing up for the 19th Annual NYC Teen Poetry Grand Slam Finals @ The Legendary Apollo Theater

We know you’ve been waiting for it — we’re (finally!) ready to bring you Urban Word’s 19th Annual Teen Poetry Slam!

Participate for a chance to:

  • Perform on stage at the legendary Apollo Theater

  • Join our Teen Slam Team and represent NYC at the Brave New Voices National Poetry Festival

  • Win an all-expenses-paid trip to San Francisco to compete against teens from all over the country

Or, simply attend the Poetry Slam on April 22nd, 2017 at The Apollo Theater

Watch our talented artists compete for a slot on the 2017 Slam Team. Purchase tickets online via Ticketmaster or in person at the Apollo Theater Box Office (M, T, Th, Fri 10AM – 6PM; Wed 10AM – 8PM; Sat 12PM – 6PM). You may also call the Apollo Theater Box Office at 212-531-5305.

There are reduced rates for groups of 10 or more, so please contact or call us at (212) 352-3495 for more information.





Imani Davis
University of Pennsylvania, Student
Kemara Night
Khalin Vasquez
Hunter College, Student

Juliana Poroye
Chantelly Medina
Aaya Perez


Corporate sponosrship opportunuties are available for this
event. To inquire, email