More Than A Literary Festival

Proving she has the winning formula, Stewart again made history copping the Grand Slam title for a third time after successfully defending her 2019 title in 2020. She is the only poet to win the Slam three times.

Performing before the defending 2021 Slam Champion, Derron Sandy, dressed as the Little Red Riding Hood, Stewart executed a dramatic piece on domestic violence before a full audience at the Naparima Bowl on Sunday, 9 October.

Kevin Soyer repeated his second place win at his debut before a live audience implying nepotism replaces qualifications and experience in the workplace. He placed 2nd in 2020 when the Slam first went virtual during the pandemic. Dressed in scrubs and gloves, Derron Sandy remained in the top three with his piece on the issue of bad teachers in the education system.

Hosted by Ainka Williams and Thaddeus “Thaddy Boom” Jardine the spoken word championship was adjudicated by guest judge, President Weekes, head judge, elisha bartels, Omari Ashby, Teresa White, and Kevin Jared Hosein. Among the many high-profile attendees at the Slam were the Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, Randall Mitchel, the Mayor of San Fernando, Junia Regrello.

Jason Julien, Group Deputy CEO, Business Generation, First Citizens handed Stewart her large cheque was proud to see the continued growth and prominence of the Slam in celebration of its 10th “Slamiversary”.

Julien said, “the impact of the Slam goes beyond the performances on the stage at the finals and is felt in the development and influence of this art form in our society.

He added, “spoken word and our poets represent our greatest natural resource and platforms such as these allow for their clear and articulate voices to reach a wide audience both today and for generations to come.”

Jean-Claude Cournand, CEO of Bocas Lit Fest is hopeful that the Slam will evolve as it enters its second decade. Cournand believes that the continued success of the annual poetry showdown is a testament that spoken word is a burgeoning and dynamic artform en route to prominence in the creative and cultural landscape of our nation.

First Citizens National Poetry Slam Finals results

1st place – Alexandra Stewart

2nd place – Kevin Soyer

3rd place – Derron Sandy

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