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
2533 16th Ave S (Beacon Hill)
Writing Circle :: 4:30 – 6pm
Open Mic Sign ups :: 6pm
Open Mic Starts at 6:30pm Ends at 8:30 pm
Next Open Mics & Writing Circles: December 4th, January 8th (instead of January 1st), February 5th, March 5th 


NEW Youth Speaks Seattle & Seattle Poetry Slam Monthly Writing Circle!

3rd Saturdays of the month
@ Rotating Locations
FIRST writing circle:
November 19th
@ Kaladi Brothers Coffee
517 E Pike St (Capitol Hill)


Youth Speaks Seattle & Arts Corps School-Based Writing Circles

Cleveland High School
led by Henry Luke
Mondays, 2:30 – 4:30pm

Garfield High School
led by Nikkita Oliver
Dates TBD


Youth Speaks Seattle Poetry Slam Series

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. This year, the winners will travel to San Francisco, CA for BNV 2017.

*Must be 13-19 to slamInterested in slamming? Visit:

Save the Dates:

$5 Youth // $10 Adults (no one turned away for lack of funds)

Sign-Ups @ 6:00pm  // Slam Starts @ 6:30pm

Prelim #1 :: NEXT FRIDAY, November 18th, 2016 @ Wing Luke Museum, 719 S King St (International District)

Prelim #2 :: Friday, December 16th, 2016 @ Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW (West Seattle)

Prelim #3 :: Friday, January 27th, 2017 @ Washington Hall, Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave (Central District)

Wild Card :: Friday, February 24th, 2017 @ Rainier Arts Center (formerly Rainier Valley Cultural Center), 3515 S Alaska St (Rainier Valley)

Grand Slam :: Friday, April 7th, 2017 @ Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave (First Hill)For more info:  |