bluapple Poetry Network - Jason Taylor Foundation


About the network:

The Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network allows students across South Florida to truly be the center of the educational process and express themselves through the art of spoken word poetry. Students in grades K-12 are exposed to the transformative power of poetry through teacher and student-led workshops, virtual poetry readings, regional conferences, and more.

The bluapple curriculum is aligned with all of the latest educational standards, but it is designed to make the focal point of the program true artistic expression. The ability to articulately and creatively express oneself with words is an essential tool for success that is cultivated with the assistance of teachers and teaching artists throughout the Network.

Everyone wants to be heard. Everyone wants to feel like their life, their story is important, and that someone is listening. Oftentimes, children feel that no one is listening. They are taught to be the listeners and to regurgitate the information presented to them. But today’s youth are filled with concerns, emotions, and thoughtful perspectives.

Students have thoughts that breathe, and the Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network gives them platforms to let their words burn.

Teaching Artists: 

The bluapple Teaching Artists are experienced poets who partner with teachers in the bluapple Poetry Network to help students develop their skills in writing, story-telling, and performing through weekly school visits. They also play a large role in facilitating annual events such as the Poetry and Leadership Conference and Louder Than A Bomb Florida Festival.

Working closely with these students, the teaching artists mentor and develop relationships with the poets in the network. To find out more about teaching artists, or how to become one, contact

Louder Than A Bomb Florida:

Inspired by the Chicago poetry festival created by Kevin Coval and Anna West, Louder Than A Bomb Florida works to build upon the impact of the bluapple network with a thirteen-day festival that facilitates poetry slams between schools from Homestead to Port St. Lucie. Dubbed the Super Bowl of poetry, LTABFLA is designed to empower young poets through the art of spoken word performance. With multiple slams and community events, students can connect with other poets both in and out of the network.

Although individual and team winners are named yearly, participants are always reminded of the legendary LTAB mantra: the point is not the points, the point is the poetry. To learn more about Louder Than A Bomb Florida, click here.

Open Mic Nights:

LTABFLA is one of many opportunities for students in the bluapple network to perform and connect. Bluapple also hosts two open mic nights each month, known as Lyrical Lounge. Currently held at the City of Sunrise Civic Center, respectively, each of these open mics is free to attend, allowing students to practice their skills and connect with their fellow poets. Like LTABFLA or any other bluapple event,  Lyrical Lounge has a “clean” mic, meaning poets must refrain from using profanity or offensive language. To find out more about bluapple open mic nights, click here.

Writing Development Events:

Throughout the year, bluapple also creates and facilitates workshops and conferences for the poets within the network. Two of the largest of these events include the Poetry and Leadership Conference (PLC) and The Lab.  PLC is a comprehensive conference with varying workshops created by professional playwrights, poets, and teaching artists to help guide students through their journey as artists, story-tellers and even business professionals. Topics of workshops range from how to create a brand on social media to performance techniques in poetry. The Lab is a series of workshops held through the summer, in collaboration with Nova Southeastern University, that features guest teaching artists and covers a variety of topics.


bluapple Poetry Programs


Writing Workshops

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Journaling For Justice

  #JournalingForJustice was born out of the bluapple Poetry Network wanting to make sure that there is a maintained and concentrated focus on poems that address social justice. Many poems come through the bluapple Poetry Network and they are written by people from varied walks of life. However,


Educator’s Studio Virtual Series

  The bluapple Poetry Network’s Educator’s Studio is a free series of workshops and discussions dedicated to providing teachers of writing and the arts with resources, concepts, and lesson plans that can be utilized in their classrooms, after school clubs, and other projects that in


South Florida Youth Poet Laureate

  SOUTH FLORIDA YOUTH POET LAUREATE   • • The Jason Taylor Foundation is in the final stretch of accepting talented poet submissions for its South Florida Youth Poet Laureate program through February 9th, 2024. Well known for its being one of the leading ways of identifying powerful youth


The Get Up: An Urban Fashion Experience

  Each summer, the Jason Taylor Foundation, through its Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network, celebrates the beginning of the school year with the introduction of its newest and most fashion forward event to date. “The Get Up” An Urban Fashion Experience presented by AVEDA Institute South


Poetry & Leadership Conference

  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW!   Our annual bluapple Poetry & Leadership Conference is for passionate wordsmiths, soulful singers, songwriters, and storytellers in alliance with professional poets coming right out of South Florida. This year, we will have the privilege to expand virtua


Louder Than A Bomb Florida

>> Register Now For Louder Than A Bomb Florida! << >> Click Here for 2024 LTABFLA Rules & Guidelines! <<            Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) was founded in 2001, through the Young Chicago Authors, by Kevin Coval and Anna West and went on to become the largest youth


blu is for Apples

    This school year, kids will put pen to paper and compose poems as part of our annual “blu is for Apples ” competition. Hoffman’s Chocolates and the Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network of the Jason Taylor Foundation are partnering with Broward and Miami-Dade County Public S



Christelle Pierre

bluapple Poetry Network Teaching Artist Christelle is a native South Floridian and a proud lifelong writer with a passion for community. When not writing poetry, Christelle can either be found in the corner of a Dunkin’ Donuts or sound asleep on the cou


Valeria Smyth

  bluapple Poetry Network Teaching Artist Valeria Smyth is a writer who wants to help others find their passion for poetry as she did. A longtime Florida resident, as well as a proud Costa Rican, Val is a social studies teacher and teaching artist. 


Sandy “Mahogany” Victorin

  bluapple Poetry Network Teaching Artist Sandy Victorin is a poet and college student.  A Coral Springs High School graduate, she has been a stand-out poet during Louder Than a Bomb Florida festivals, including as a two-time Individual Finalist.


Christopher Simpson

Christopher Simpson bluapple Poetry Program Assistant Teaching Artist Christopher Simpson is a 2021 LTAB champion from Flanagan High School. As a published novelist, his passion for writing extends beyond poetry, but he loves the raw form of expression a


Nick “IntelliNick”Jentzsch

  bluapple Poetry Network Teaching Artist Nick Jentsch is a poet and graduate of Hollywood Hills High School. His entry into the spoken word world began in 2017, and his appreciation for the craft as well as its community has only deepened over time.


Chris Mazzara

  bluapple Poetry Network Teaching Artist Chris Mazzara has been writing poetry since the 5th grade. It started as a way to express grief over lost loved ones and eventually turned into performing spoken word poetry for the past 8 years. Chris is als