Bocas Lit Fest

The 2021 Slam Finalists have been revealed!

Twenty semi-finalist poets delivered their poetry as the nation watched on TTT for the semi-finals of the 2021 First Citizens National Poetry Slam on the last two Sundays of August. Now, the finalists have been revealed, who will go up against our two-time defending champion, Alexandra Stewart, for the $50,000 Grand Prize!
 
Finalists: 
  • Terriq Betaudier 
  • Terryl Betaudier
  • Renaldo Briggs
  • Zakiya Gill
  • Abdul Majeed Abdal Karim
  • Michael Logie
  • Ronaldo Mohammed
  • Derron Sandy
  • Shivana Sharma
  • Seth Sylvester
  • Alexandra Stewart, defending champion

The 2021 First Citizens National Poetry Slam Schedule

October 10, 2021
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

2021 Schedule

The much anticipated Final showcase, televised to the public via TTT.  The Slam, now in its ninth year, returns to prove that “Poetry is Resilience” with its usual TT$50,000 first place prize up for grabs under the proud sponsorship of First Citizens. It remains one of the highest value awards for spoken word artists in …

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HISTORY

In 2013, First Citizens, the Bocas Lit Fest and the 2 Cents Movement came together to create a unique closing event for the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, then in its third year. The Verses Bocas Poetry Slam, as it was called, was a free poetry show drawing an audience that exceeded the capacity of our Festival home in The Old Fire Station. The following year we moved to a bigger venue, but the scene at the Central Bank Auditorium was the same; spoken word poetry was on dazzling display to an overflowing audience eager for more. 2015 brought significant upgrades, in both form and substance. The Slam was held at the Globe cinema, with 1200 seating capacity, and would become the First Citizens National Poetry Slam of Trinidad and Tobago and it’s been on the rise ever since!

In eight years, the National Poetry Slam has established itself as the largest stage for spoken word in the Caribbean, with a TT$50,000 first place prize, one of the highest value awards for Spoken Word artists in the world.

In 2020, the FCNPS was a televised event with live judging broadcast and streamed to the public for free. In 2021 the competition will take place in the same way. Auditions were held in July via Zoom, where twenty poets were chosen for the semi-final rounds airing in August 2021.

Over 9 years, the First Citizens National Poetry Slam has seen:

  • 934 poets auditioned (2013-2020)
  • 278 semi-finalists (2013-2020)
  • 89 finalists (2013-2020)
  • 27 winners (1st – 3rd places)
  • TT$400,000 distributed in prize money
  • 51 Slam events to date

2019 Grand Slam: Top Performances

2018 Grand Slam: Top Performances

Behind the Poem

A lot of work goes into the making of that triumphant moment on stage in the Grand Slam. “Behind the Poem” is a video series where finalists in the 2019 First Citizens National Poetry Slam explain their final poem. Each poet gives us a glimpse into the themes and ideas that motivated their final piece in the competition and tells us what problems they may have faced during the writing process

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