First Citizens National Poetry Slam
Open to all ages, the First Citizens National 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. Participants go through a three-round process: auditions, semi-finals, and finals (the finale event of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest). Every year, hundreds of poets compete for a grand prize of $50,000.00 — the largest spoken word prize offered in the region — plus a second prize of $20,000 and third prize of $10,000.
In 2020, The First Citizens National Poetry Slam presents: Slamageddon! Slam auditions were in January 2020, and the Semi-Final round originally planned for March 2020 has been postponed to later in the year. The Grand Slam finale will remain as the closing event of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, now carded 20 September, 2020.
Secondary Schools Tour
At the core of our partnership with the 2 Cents Movement is the development of youth and outreach programmes in schools. Since 2013, our secondary schools spoken word tour has visited at least 50 secondary schools every year in their first term (September to December) and has produced some of our most impactful work. The tour promotes art and literacy and actively engages students in critical thought, while offering a stimulating and entertaining experience of poetry. Many of the students then go on to participate in Raise the Bar, a spoken word school festival and competition.
Raise the Bar
RTB (Raise the Bar) is a school festival where secondary school students from around the country showcase their talents in an intercollegiate spoken word competition. In 2019, 18 secondary school teams vied for the top title and trophy, with South East Port-of-Spain Secondary placing first, Arima North Secondary placing second and St George’s College placing third.
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, St. Augustine 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 (at the University of the Southern Caribbean) 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.