Forward Arts Inc., a Baton Rouge nonprofit, will host its ninth annual All City Teen Poetry Slam Festival from April 29 to May 2 and May 8-9.

A slam is an Olympic-style poetry competition where poets are judged on the written and performance merit of their original compositions.

The All City festival boasts teams of youth ages 13-19 from middle and high schools and youth organizations. The theme of this year’s festival is “All Access” and will explore society’s heightened access to information.

The festival also will launch Forward Arts’ first youth literary journal, Crushed Canvas. Submissions of poetry, short stories and black-and-white visual arts from teens ages 13-19 are being accepted through March 20. The editorial board includes members of Forward Arts’ after-school youth poetry collective, Word Crew, with advisory support from the New Delta Review.

The festival is the culminating event of Forward Arts’ flagship program, the WordPlay Writing Project.

WordPlay also offers in-school creative writing and spoken word poetry residencies, an after-school youth poetry collective, a monthly teen open mic and an annual summer writing and performance camp.

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