Young DFW Writers (YDFW) provides a 16-week (October-March) literary arts curriculum to participating Dallas-Fort Worth schools, with four levels of involvement tailored to each campus. Lessons are aligned with poetry and revising & editing TEKS. Schools work with YDFW teaching artists to create inter- and intra-school programming in preparation for the school’s participation in a school-wide performance and DFW’s Louder Than a Bomb Poetry Festival (LTAB).
Workshops combine old school craft techniques with new school poetics and help challenge students to study craft through critical examination of literary greats, modern leaders in the genre, and through examination of the lyrics of hip-hop. Students are shown different approaches to writing, often using pieces by acclaimed contemporary poets and lyricists as a starting point, and given writing prompts to begin the work of crafting individual and group poems.
Each teaching artist is a nationally recognized poet and writer and has completed the rigorous LTAB Teaching Artist Training Program. During these residencies, YDFW teaching artists can visit the school to perform original work, lead a master class, and/or critique student work, depending on the needs of the teacher.
Cultivation of the critical voice of the student, with emphasis on creating self-definition and definition of the world around them, culminates when we bring students together for Crossing the Street (which kicks off the LTAB festival) and the metroplex-wide Louder Than a Bomb (LTAB) Poetry Festival. Rather than emphasize individual poets and performances, the structure of the program demands that kids work collaboratively with their peers, presenting, critiquing, and rewriting their pieces. At the same time, YDFW cultivates self-definition and activities that aid students in defining the world around them, initially building an environment of mutual trust and support on each individual campus. The program takes place at each partnership school twice a week, during the lunch hour or after school. Young DFW Writers is the local organization bringing Louder Than A Bomb to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.
Check the Method Workshops
Check The Method offers rigorous instruction in some of the most vital issues facing young people today. A combination of Ted talk, writing workshop, town hall meeting, and poetry reading, this annual Fall event creates community and builds relationships for students from all over the metroplex. Hosted by longtime partners this event brings some of Americas most prominent poets and activist to workshop and perform with our students in personal settings.
Flash Mobs of Poetry
Our annual Martin Luther King Junior Day event-- Teams of students erupt around the metroplex in flash mobs of poetry. Art becomes activism as students address issues such as hunger, domestic violence and violence against women through poetry. All while raising awareness for some of our areas most trusted nonprofit and community service organizations.
Giselle B Robinson Award
Giselle B Robinson was born in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands & was brought to Texas by way of New Jersey in the early 2000s. Robinson became a pillar in the Southwest poetry scene, recognized by her St. Thomas accent & raw poetry. Giselle’s voice and her words, her stories and her style, reflected the deeply ingrained West Indian values and traditions she was raised with. She was warm and smooth, deep and as vibrant as the Caribbean Sea. She was on several local slam teams multiple times, performing nationally & at national competitions.
In 2014, she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer but in spite of her illness, Robinson exuded sheer determination while her poetry community rallied around her to provide love, support and encouragement. November 18, 2015, Giselle Robinson passed away yet always reminded us to tell our truth.
In honor of Giselle B Robinson, an annual award for best written poem is presented to sophomores and juniors, in her name.
In 2017, The University of Pennsylvania and Kelly's Writers House partnered with YDFW, Inc. to annually sponsor two student winners of the Giselle B Robinson award for full scholarships to their summer writing program.
Annual Louder Than a Bomb
(LTAB) Youth Poetry Festival
Louder Than a Bomb (LTAB) Youth Poetry Festival is an annual event hosting youth poets in Olympic-style poetry bouts. Students representing schools and community groups in the Dallas-Fort Worth area perform original solo and group poems in a tournament-style competition.
LTAB is a safe space dedicated to voices of young people, carrying on the rich tradition of storytelling and spoken word. The program upholds the central idea that in unison, young people's voices are louder than any act of violence or hate inflicted upon them. It is a critical and creative writing, publishing, and performance education platform that gives students the stage to be positive agents of change in their community.
Education Partner schools host their own individual school “slam” (competition) at the end of the workshop season to create a school team composed of four to five poets. Each school team competes with teams from other schools at the Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) Youth Poetry Festival, in preliminary bouts, and then ultimately to the team and individual finals competition, held annually in April.
Fabrica de la Palabra
For those interested in participating in LTAB but do not have a program at their school, Fabrica de la Palabra is a workshop offered at a local coffeeshop, as an additional opportunity for a team of students.
October thru March
On-going workshop and slam series for students 12-19 years old.
Held the second (2nd) and fourth (4th) Saturdays.
(Currently on hold for the 2017-2018 season)