The Detroit Youth Poetry Con will take place on Saturday, March 9th, 2024 and is FREE and open to attend for all teens. Registration closes March 6th, 2024.

What is Poetry Con?

The 2024 Detroit Youth Poetry Con is a day-long series of creative workshops at Wayne State University concluding with a public showcase at Hilberry Gateway Theatre featuring this year’s best-selling poet and essayist Ross Gay, Michigan Poet Laureate Nandi Comer, and special performances by InsideOut youth. 

InsideOut’s Detroit Youth Poetry Con is brought to you by Gucci Changemakers, with support from NBA Foundation and individual donors.

Featured Visiting Writers

Ross Gay

Ross Gay is the author of four books of poetry: Against WhichBringing the Shovel DownBe Holding, winner of the PEN American Literary Jean Stein Award; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. In addition to his poetry, Ross has released three collections of essays—The Book of Delights was released in 2019 and was a New York Times bestseller; Inciting Joy was released in 2022, and his newest collection, The Book of (More) Delights was released in September of 2023.

Nandi Comer

Nandi Comer is the Poet Laureate of Michigan. She is the author of American Family: A Syndrome (Finishing Line Press) and Tapping Out (Triquarterly), which was awarded the 2020 Society of Midland Authors Award and the 2020 Julie Suk Award. She is a Cave Canem Fellow, a Callaloo Fellow, and a 2019 Kresge Arts in Detroit Fellow. She is the co-director of Detroit Lit.

InsideOut student poet performs at the public showcase in 2023. She has long braids and holds a poem on paper at a microphone against a dark background.
Mic Phelps leads a workshops with youth poets. They laugh and react as he teaches. The table is filled with papers, pens, and waterbottles.

Conference Schedule

  • 9:30am – Conference Welcome (Wayne State Student Center)
  • 11am – Workshop Session #1
  • 12pm – Lunch
  • 2pm – Workshop Session #2
  • 3pm – Special Workshop (led by Ross Gay and Nandi Comer)
  • 4:30 – Dinner
  • 7pm – Public Showcase (Hilberry Gateway)

Frequently Asked Questions

Are meals provided at The Detroit Youth Poetry Con?

Yes, InsideOut provides participants with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

Can I/my group attend for just part of the day on March 9th?

Yes, contact Justin Rogers to make special arrangements for you or your group.

For more information contact Citywide Poets Coordinator Justin Rogers by email or call 313-577-4601.