THE biggest spoken word event in the region will see 15 representatives from the Houses Jab, Moko, Merikins, Maroons and Chantuelle in the final battle of the First Citizens National Poetry Slam finale on May 5, at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), in the closing event of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest.
They face off against reigning Slam champion Deneka Thomas in their bid for the coveted "microphone throne" at the Frederick Street, Port of Spain venue.
Riding the wave of the excitement of Game of Thrones fans over the unfurling of the show’s final season, Slam organisers sought to adapt the thrill of one of television’s most-ever watched series to local socio-cultural and historical legends and lore in the build-up to the finale of the 2019 First Citizens National Poetry Slam.
In a media release 2 Cents Movement artistic director Derron Sandy said: “With patrons unanimous on the unprecedented quality of the performances at this year’s Slam semi-finals, the development of the Game of Thrones theme, with a local twist, helped reinforce the sense of a high-stakes battle emerging. “We’re pleased it has caught on with both our audience and the poets!”
A hefty winner’s row jackpot of $80,000 is in play with $50,000 booked for the top performance, all courtesy First Citizens.
“And to judge the country’s best performance poets, we’ve lined up some of the finest talent of the national literary festival. We’re all looking forward to closing the 2019 NGC Bocas Lit Fest on the highpoint of an exceptional Poetry Slam, in every respect”, said festival founder and director Marina Salandy-Brown.
Deciding the fate of the "microphone throne" are local actress Penelope Spencer, 2018 Forward Prize winner American poet Danez Smith, St Lucian poet Kendel Hippolyte, British-Jamaican poet and performer Marcia Douglas and Jamaican poet Geoffrey Philp.
Slam finals tickets are on sale at various outlets.