Spoken Word

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

It’s the most powerful literary movement in today’s T&T: spoken word brings together words, rhythm, and a chance for people to express their concerns and ambitions. Working with the 2Cents Movement, the Bocas Lit Fest is in the vanguard of developing the genre.


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 start in January 2020 and advance registration is required to enter the auditions. To register, go to: http://2centsmovement.com/fcnps-2020/. Limited spots available in each audition (40 spots per venue). Make sure to read the rules here carefully before registering.

There is a $30 registration fee for audition entrants. Admission at the door for all audition events is $60. Call 289-1595 for further details. 

Secondary Schools Tour

At the core of the partnership between The Bocas Lit Fest and the 2 Cents Movement is the development of youth and schools outreach programmes. 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 who experience the tour 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 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.

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. Learn more at 2centsmovement.co