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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Want us to do outreach in your classroom, community center or event? Email for questions or inquiries!

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 — it’s 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 8:30pm

Next Open Mics & Writing Circles: 


Want to be a Youth Speaks Seattle SPOKES?

Applications for SPOKES are open until October 22nd, 2019. Applications can be found here.

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 November 5th – May 5th. Leaders will meet every Tuesday from 4-6pm at Youngstown in West Seattle.

2020 Youth Speaks Seattle Poetry Slam Series

Dates will be announced soon!

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

We are sending the Youth Speaks Seattle Team to Brave New Voices in July!  

The Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, powered by Youth Speaks, is the only festival of its kind. Every year, over 500 young poets, their mentors, and the nation’s leading artists and cultural workers convene in a different U.S. city for 4-5 days of arts education, artistic expression, and civic engagement.

Find out more about Brave New Voices!