More Than A Literary Festival

Debut finalists dominate Grand Slam line up

On Sunday, April 28, Queen’s Hall will be ablaze with high-powered poetry performances for the 2024 First Citizens National Poetry Slam. A pool of 80 auditionees was whittled down to 16 through semifinal rounds at the Central Bank Auditorium on March 23 and 24, all vying for the coveted title of Grand Slam Champion. The event will bring the curtains down on the 14th annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest, which will run from April 25 to 28.

This year marks the 12th edition of the First Citizens National Poetry Slam, the Caribbean’s biggest spoken word championship. The stakes are high, with $80,000 up for grabs from the title sponsor, First Citizens, with $50,000 going to the champion, $20,000 to the runner-up, and $10,000 to the third-place finisher.

Defending his crown is reigning Slam Champion Kyle Hernandez, who earned an automatic spot in the final. He will face off against fifteen poets, including eight debut finalists, a record-breaking number of new entrants in the history of the Grand Slam. Seasoned veterans and past winners also stand in the way, ensuring that the competition will be keen and unpredictable. Alexandra Stewart, three-time Slam champ and winner of the 2023 NGC Bocas Youth Writer Award, adds another chapter to her storied career, making her ninth appearance in the Grand Slam. This year, Renaldo Briggs also made history as the first Wild Card poet to advance to the final round of the Slam.

The Slam is a family-oriented event, inviting audiences of all ages to witness the power of words to inspire, provoke, and entertain.

Tickets are priced at only $200 and can be purchased through Island E-Tickets, Paper Based Bookshop, select Xtra Foods locations, and Queen’s Hall.

Debut finalists

Alicia Haynes

Daniel Baptiste

Darion Cunningham

Dershawn Hernandez

Gabrielle Murray

Kedisha Thomas

Keeron Isaac

Shakira Burton

Returning Finalists

Alexandra Stewart

Derron Sandy

Michael Logie

Seth Sylvester

Renaldo Briggs

Ronaldo Mohammed

Standby Poets

Kevin Soyer

Soleil La Barrie

For First Citizens National Poetry Slam information and updates, follow @nationalpoetryslamtt on Facebook, Instagram, X and TikTok or call the Slam Hotline at 375-2155. 

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