Spoken Word

Bringing together words, rhythms, and a chance for people to express their deepest concerns.

Across Trinidad & Tobago, the spoken word movement brings together words, rhythms, and a chance for people to express their deepest concerns. 

And the Bocas Lit Fest, working with the activist 2Cents Movement, is in the vanguard of developing the genre that provides a bridge between the oral tradition and the written word.

The headline event is the 2017 First Citizens National Poetry Slam, with TT$80,000 for the top three poets.

 

But our spoken word programmes also run year round:

Courts Bocas Secondary Schools “Speak Out” Spoken Word Tour

With over 120 schools visited and 57,200 students reached so far, the Courts Bocas Secondary Schools Speak Out Tour is geared towards promoting art and literacy through actively engaging students in critical thought and explorations of language and creativity. The tour includes free workshops for students that introduce them to writing and performance and offer the opportunity to work closely with the tour’s well-known performance poets, developing newly crafted work.


Courts Bocas Speak Out Intercol

The exciting championship has blossomed from an individual poet competition to a team event where students now train together in preparation for group poetry performances. Over 100 students participated in the 2016 inaugural run of the group poetry competition, and October 2017 we will see new schools and new student performers face off.


U.WE Speak and USC Speak

The oldest existing open mic in Trinidad and Tobago, U.WE Speak was established at the University of the West Indies campus by Muhammad Muwakil and Nku Davis in 2005 as a space for students to explore societal issues through arts and discussion. Currently, both U.WE Speak and U.SC Speak are produced by the 2 Cents Movement, in collaboration with the Bocas Lit Fest, and remain a compelling part of campus life and a space for creative discourse.


The First Citizens National Poetry Slam

Open to all ages, The First Citizens National Poetry Slam (formerly known as the VERSES Bocas Poetry Slam) is T&T’s national spoken word competition, sponsored by First Citizens in collaboration with the Bocas Lit Fest and The 2 Cents Movement.

The competition takes place over several rounds. The best 32 competitors in the auditions move on to the semi-finals. The climax is the final play-off between the top 12 and defending champion National Poetry Slam Finals, the keenly anticipated closing event of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest.

The 2017 Finals are Sunday 30 April, 6pm at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Frederick Street. Tickets available at NAPA box office.

Past winners:

2012:
1st Angelo Hart
2nd Charnelle Lucien

2013:
1st Crystal Skeete- “Maxi Man Tracking School Gyal
2nd Akile Wallace

2014:
1st Idrees Saleem
2nd Brendon O’Brien
3rd Akile Wallace

2015:
1st Akile Wallace
2nd Kleon McPherson
3rd Derron Sandy

2016:
1st Seth Sylvester
2nd Kyle Hernandez
3rd Idrees Saleem


What is the 2 Cents Movement?

Born out of concern for the increasing apathy among the young, the 2 Cents Movement is a youth-led arts non-profit organization focused on engaging youth on critical issues relevant to their development through creating new spaces of contemporary art and discourse with the goal of them becoming confident, socially responsible citizens.