Auditions are set to kick off for the 2024 edition of the First Citizens National Poetry Slam (FCNPS). The announcement was made on the First Citizens National Poetry Slam social media on Friday 19 January, 2024.
Following a return to its traditional in-person format last year, the annual spoken word championship — now in its 12th edition — will again culminate in the grand finale during the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, which will take place from 25 to 28 April. This year’s theme, Enter the Dragon’s Mouth, will unfold throughout the audition, semifinal, and final stages of the Slam.
Poets eager to participate in this year’s championship can register online to audition before a live judging panel at National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS) locations across Trinidad and Tobago. Each audition will be broadcast live on the National Poetry Slam’s Facebook page, offering audiences a front-row seat to three days of captivating poetic expression.
- Saturday 17 February at the Carnegie Free Library, corner of Coffee Street and Prince of Wales Street, San Fernando, 10 am to 1 pm
- Sunday 18 February at the National Library, 23 Abercromby Street, Port of Spain, 10 am to 4 pm
- Sunday 25 February at Scarborough Public Library, Garden Side Street, Scarborough, 10 am to 4 pm
30 poets will then move on to the second stage of the lyrical tournament. Kyle Hernandez, the reigning champion from 2023, is set to defend his title as he automatically advances to the finals, aiming for a poetic encore. Hernandez expressed his encouragement for emerging poets to strive for the top prize. He added, however, that “for anyone eyeing the title, they’ll need to ‘out blood, sweat, and tears’ me.”
Jean-Claude Cournand, CEO of the Bocas Lit Fest said, “We are dedicated to preserving the rich legacy of spoken word poetry through the annual First Citizens National Poetry Slam, and every year effort goes into crafting a unique and relevant Slam experience that resonates with the current creative landscape.”
On this year’s theme, Cournand added that organisers took the opportunity to expand on the local theme of Bocas del Dragon, with the grand finals to be held at Queen’s Hall, widely regarded as Trinidad and Tobago’s premier indoor theatre venue.
Slam lovers are encouraged to mark their calendars for the semifinals on 23 and 24 March at the Central Bank Auditorium, and the Grand Slam on 28 April.
For more details and to register, visit www.bocaslitfest.com/youth/poetry-slam/ and follow @nationalslamtt on FB, IG and X (formerly known as Twitter).