Louder Than A Bomb 2016

Learn about how West did at Louder Than A Bomb this year.


Photo by Rian Stallbaumer.

Seniors Julius Maddox and Chance Ortega celebrate after their performances.

Ellie Knobel

Louder Than A Bomb is a spoken word competition that originated in Chicago in 2001. Since then, it’s become one of the largest youth poetry festivals that’s manifested its way to several cities around the country, including right here in Kansas City. Students from across the state come together to compete and showcase their poetry.

This year, Shawnee Mission West competed against four schools at the Beggar’s Table in the Cross Roads on Thursday, March 10. Our Louder Than A Bomb team consists of junior David Reed, and seniors Chance Ortega, Maya Bluitt, and Julius Maddox. Although the team had strong performances, they did not move on to¬†semifinals. Two semifinals were held March 28 and 29, and the four prevailing teams were Lawrence Free State, Shawnee Mission Northwest, Shawnee Mission South, and KC Poet Tree Club. Finals will be held this Saturday, April 2, ¬†at the Gem Theater.

Although West will not be competing, I encourage everybody to come out this Saturday. Louder than a Bomb is a super unique organization that strives to bring together teens from different social, economic, and racial backgrounds who might not otherwise hear each other’s stories. There are typically five rounds, four in which the teen poets perform individually, and the fifth performance is a group piece. If you enjoy slam poetry and don’t have any plans for this Saturday, come out and support Louder than a Bomb, and the two Shawnee Mission Schools that will be competing.