National Poetry Slam 2019

First Citizens National Poetry Slam

On Sunday 5th May, 2019 fifteen (15) young poets from our twin-island gathered at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) Port of Spain to compete for $50,000 at the final round of the 2019 First Citizens National Poetry Slam.

It was the third consecutive year that this country’s finest performance poets and masters of the craft of the Spoken Word, competed for a winners’ row jackpot of $80,000, courtesy First Citizens.

Continuing with the Game of Thrones theme established in round one of this year’s competition, the final saw a battle between the Houses of Jab, Moko, Merikins, Maroons, and Chantuelle for the coveted ‘microphone throne’.

With a powerful performance piece on the exploitation of artists and the failure of some to compensate them respectfully, Alexandra Stewart was rewarded with a $50,000 first prize.

Stewart led the trio of women who topped this year’s competition.

In second place, with a mesmerising and potent piece about parenting, was Shinique Saunders, with defending champion Deneka Thomas in third place.

Stewart’s poem, which pointed out the injustice of asking artists to work for intangibles such as exposure or for refreshments, was forceful and sharp.

The sporadic laughs, gasps and echoes of agreement added to the significance of a topic which resonated with artistes and art-lovers alike.

“An artist cannot survive on an empty belly,” Stewart had told the audience, a call that was clearly heard by the judges.

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