Youth Poetry Movement

STL Youth have been spitting poetry long before UrbArts began administering VerbQuake or Youth Poet Laureate. However, our efforts forged a community of poets that extend from Southern Illinois to Jefferson County of the Greater St. Louis area. Since 2011, UrbArts has engaged thousands area youth through tournaments, performances, and workshops. 

“STL Has Always Had a Youth Poetry Movement, it just Needed a Platform.”

Our youth poets come from many different places but they all dwell in truth. That's why their work resonates with audiences. Their poems come from a real place.
MK Stallings, Founder

Congratulations to Sarah Abbas on becoming the 4th St. Louis Youth Poet Laureate. She joins Bisa Adero, Zack Lesmeister, and Camryn Howe in holding this honor.

Every fall, youth poets gather for the Youth Poetry Summit. Registration for the next Summit will open September 2020. 

Youth Poetry Slam

Since 2011, UrbArts administers the biggest youth poetry slam competition in the St. Louis region called VerbQuake. The top youth poets in the region go on to form the St. Louis team and compete at Brave New Voices. It’s been a phenomenal journey. Join us. 

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With Support from...

STL Youth Poets make noise all on their own. Still, we thank our funders for amplifying their voices.

VerbQuake Tournament Schedule

  • VQ Open Solo Competition, UrbArts, April 5th | 3 pm
  • VQ Team Grandslam, UrbArts, April 19th | 3 pm
  • VQ Final Stage (Indie Championship), UrbArts, April 26th | 3 pm

Join Us