At last week’s exciting finals of the Courts Bocas Secondary Schools Spoken Word Intercol competition, Michael Logie of St. Augustine Secondary School, had to pull out all the stops to beat his rivals for the top prize.
The 18-year old’s poem, The Birds, The Trees and I, wowed the judges with its rhyme, up-to-the minute references, its insights, humour and relevance.
Female competitors outnumbered the males, and Alexandra Stewart, aged 16, of St. Joseph Convent, St Joseph, with her poem Asking for It and 16-year old Leandra Williamson of Naparima Girls’ High School with her Why Write romped into second and third prizes respectively.
Logie was one of 14 spoken word performers from schools nationwide competing to be champion of the second COURTS BOCAS SPEAK OUT competition that has engaged over 25,000 secondary school students in 54 schools since last October.
At UWI’s Daaga Hall on Thursday 26 April, over two hundred students gathered to support their school’s representative for the championship and a unique prize courtesy Courts, the Bocas Lit Fest and the 2Cents Movement. Courts Public Relations Officer, Trudy Blackman-Moore, presented Michael Logie with an iPad mini and $9,000 to spend on producing a high-quality short video of his original poetry.
Logie can also select a spoken word artist from the 2Cents Movement for a one-year mentorship programme to help develop his oral and literary skills. And, having won the Secondary Schools Intercol, the final part of his prize package is the chance to perform at two events at the 5th NGC Bocas Lit Fest, the country’s annual literary festival, at the National Library and the Globe during the festival, 29 April – 3 May.
The Courts Bocas Speak Out Tour is a project of the Bocas Lit Fest, which is dedicated to raising an appreciation of all forms of self-expression through words, written and spoken, among people of all ages.
Leading the workshops are the dynamic young poets of the 2 Cents Movement who have been making a name for themselves as exemplar exponents of the increasingly popular form that challenges young people to articulate their thoughts creatively.
Jean Claude Cournand, Bocas Youth Outreach Coordinator and founder of the Two Cents Movement says, “We are very excited to work to build youth engagement in society, leading them to understand how they can shape and improve it.”
The three-part season of workshops, performance and competitions that reaches students all over Trinidad South, Central, East, West and Tobago will get underway again in October 2015. Speaking for Courts, a spokesperson added, “We believe in supporting the country’s youth in developing all their potential and we believe too that the arts have great power to do that. We are very pleased to work with the Bocas Lit Fest in continuing this valuable project.”