InsideOut Literary Arts Returns with a Digital Fest for the City’s Young Poets

The annual poetry festival highlights the work of some of Detroit’s most talented youth poets.

This year’s Louder Than a Bomb Youth Poetry Festival is heading online, as many other events have during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The annual fest highlights the work of some of Detroit’s most talented youth poets.

Organized by InsideOut Literary Arts, the celebrated non-profit that brings writers into the city’s public schools to teach the power of the written word, the festival brings youth poets together for workshops and a competitive slam performance.  

Mentor and longtime Detroit poet LaShaun “Phoenix” Moore says the organization has been using video conference apps like Zoom for the past few weeks to connect with students. 

“We can all see each other and write collaboratively together, read poems, laugh at jokes,” Moore says.

Taking part in this year’s festival is youth poet and performer Aja Allante, who released her first collection of poems, “necessary evils,” last year. The 19-year-old has recently turned to photography as a way to continue bringing creativity into her life during the “Stay At Home” executive order.  

“I’ve been taking a step back to readjust to the new normal,” Allante says. She continued by saying that after the pandemic subsides it would likely be a subject in her future work. 

Join the festival online.

Click the player to hear CultureShift’s Amanda LeClaire speak with Moore and Allante about making the transition to digital this year. 

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  • Amanda LeClaire
    Amanda LeClaire is an award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. She’s a founding producer of WDET’s flagship news talk show Detroit Today, and a former host/reporter for Arizona Public Media. Amanda is also an artist, certified intuitive and energy healer, and professional tarot reader.