Youth Speaks: Poetry Workshops and Teen Poetry Slam

Are you a writer, poet, spoken-word artist, or just interested in literary arts but don’t know where to start? Youth Speaks is a free program for teens that meets after most school hours. It’s centered in the San Francisco Bay area, but part of it meets every Thursday at 5:00-7:00 pm at the Central Branch of the Seattle Public Library. The meetings are focused around writing circles for people of all writing skills. Whether you’re pretty much a professional poet, or still struggling putting pen to paper, Youth Speaks writing circles are open and welcome to everybody. The sessions are also led by famous spoken-word artists such as Roberto Ascalon, Karen Finneyfrock, and Matt Gano.

I met Matt Gano when he was a guest speaker in my poetry class last semester, and the poetic insight he can offer you is extremely valuable. Karen Finnyfrock is a professional writer and Roberto Ascalon used to teach at Nova High School. I think it’s also very helpful as a writer to be able to share work with other young authors and poets, and Youth Speaks is a positive, fun environment to get feedback. It’s also a great way to help other writers grow and gain experience. With all these things Youth Speaks offers, it’s almost a guaranteed way to improve anybody’s writing skill.

So don’t forget: Youth Speaks meets on the third floor of the Central library branch on Thursdays from 5:00-7:00 pm. Be sure to bring a notebook and an open mind!  And don’t miss their Grand Slam Finals on April 3rd!

 -Georgia, 17, Teen Center Advisor

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