THE 2022 FIRST CITIZENS NATIONAL POETRY SLAM COMPETITION is into the second round stage of its 10th consecutive year and 20 top performers are through to the semi-finals.
Eighty hopefuls stepped up to the virtual Slamiversary audition stage hosted by five open mic event organizers to deliver a repertoire of charismatic, thought-provoking, riveting and animated performances before five seasoned judges.
Streamed live on the National Poetry Slam – Trinidad and Tobago Facebook page and the Bocas Lit Fest website, over 2,900 Slam lovers shared the events that attracted many congratulatory comments. It bodes well for the region’s largest and richest spoken word event in which the winner takes home TT$50,000, with $20,000 and $10,000 for runners-up.
The Slam is open to competitors of all ages and all topics are welcome. Taking full advantage of this inclusiveness, veterans, newcomers and some 2021 Slam finalists weighed in on trending social issues and matters of the heart, much to the delight of the audience, but in the end only 20 wordsmiths could go through.
Trudy Louison – Group Marketing and Communications Officer – Events, CSR and PR for First Citizens was blown away she said, “By the level of talent that exudes from our people in Trinidad and Tobago. It was amazing to hear how eloquently an everyday topic, or less-thought-about personal experience, can be captured so creatively and paint a different perspective.”
Head Judge Arielle John was joined by Avion Crooks, Nicholas Sosa, Kwame Weekes and Jayron “Rawkus” Remy. In commenting on the toughness of the competition she said, “The semifinals are where the competition really switches gears and people bring their best work forward. I’m excited to witness even more dynamic, risk-taking poetry that offers seat-gripping performances that we will struggle to forget.”
The 2-part semifinals will be televised on TTT on 21 and 28 August and both events will include a live in-studio audience. First Citizens is title sponsor of the National Poetry Slam and TTT is media partner for this Bocas Lit Fest production.
Abdul Majeed Abdal Karim