Youth Speaks Seattle (YSS)

Youth Speaks Seattle is a brave space where young people pick up the pen, take the mic, and take the lead. Founded in 2003 by young poets, Youth Speaks Seattle holds an ongoing legacy of cultivating youth leadership through spoken word poetry.

Envisioning art as a tool for social change, youth participants build community and hone their arts and activism skills through writing circles, poetry slams, open mics and leadership opportunities.

Because of the clear alignment of arts and social justice values, Youth Speaks Seattle became a program of Arts Corps in 2011, fueling Arts Corps to more deeply embody its values of social justice and youth leadership.

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Click HERE to join our mailing list. Please put “Put me on the mailing list” in the subject line.

Want us to do outreach in your classroom, community center or event? Email

Are you looking to request a workshop or poetry performance from Youth Speaks Seattle poets? Please submit a booking request at the link below.


Youth Speaks Seattle Open Mic & Writing Circle Series


Always open to all youth aged 13-19!

Come spit, speak, play music, dance, tell jokes, live paint, just watch if you want to — its your stage! Great first place to perform, be heard, have fun, and show love to each other. YSS open mics are some of the most supportive you can find!

1st Sundays of the month
@ The Station Cafe
1600 S Roberto Maestas Festival St (Beacon Hill)
Writing Circle :: 5:00 – 6:45pm
Open Mic Sign ups :: 6:45pm
Open Mic Starts at 7:05pm Ends at 8:30 pm
Next Open Mics & Writing Circles: 

January 6, 2019 

February 3, 2019

March 3, 2019 


Apply for Spokes!

Applications for SPOKES are now closed.  Please stay tuned for next year’s application in August 2019.

Calling all Youth POETS, MUSICIANS & ARTISTS! We’re looking for fierce young artists (aged 14-19) who want to create change through community organizing, performance events and artistry! This is a 7-month commitment to being a leader and organizer for the Arts Corps Teen Leadership Program. Internship is from October 24th – May 1st. Leaders will meet every Tuesday from 4-6pm at Youngstown in West Seattle.


2018 Youth Speaks Seattle Poetry Slam Series

Interested in slamming*? Visit:

Since 2003, Youth Speaks Seattle has held an annual poetry slam series to build community, showcase the next generation of Seattle’s poetic changemakers and to decide the top 5 poets to rep Seattle at Brave New Voices (BNV), the International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, in the summer. 

*Must be 13-19 to slam

2018-2019 Slam dates: 

Friday, December 28, 2018 – Youngstown Cultural Arts Center

Saturday, January 26, 2019 – Hillman City Collaboratory

Sunday, February 24, 2019 – Washington Hall

Friday, March 29, 2019 – Centilia Cultural Center  |