Twelve performance poets have advanced to the final round of the 2020 First Citizens National Poetry Slam (FCNPS) to meet defending national champion Alexandra Stewart.
Through their continued partnership with TV6, The Bocas Lit Fest and Slam title sponsor First Citizens will deliver the grand finale of Spoken Word’s biggest event in the Caribbean on September 27, where 13 will contend for the title.
With the semi-finals broadcast on TV6 over the last two Sundays, the final round of the First Citizens National Poetry Slam will also be available for the very first time to a viewing audience on national TV and via livestream, tv6tnt.com.
This country’s top tier in Spoken Word will, for the fourth consecutive year, vie for the winners’ row jackpot of $80,000, courtesy First Citizens. Slam sponsor since the event’s inception in 2013, and title sponsor since 2016, First Citizens has awarded over $350,000 in prize money to date.
Retaining the Slamageddon theme introduced in round one back in January, the Armageddon reference seems “eerily more resonant now, at what could be the height of the pandemic in TT,” according to Funso Aiyejina, prize-winning poet and deputy director of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, who headed the auditions and semi-finals judging.
Aiyejina added, “The myriad logistical challenges the team faced in pulling off the second leg of the competition are testament to the extraordinary circumstances in which we all find ourselves, and speak to the real crux of this year’s theme: human resilience and our ability to summon our inherent ingenuity to solve problems. And we expect nothing less from the poets come finals.”
The semi-finals judging panel also included prize-winning writer and editor Lisa Allen-Agostini, calypsonian Roderick " Chuck" Gordon, and writer and performer Paula Obe. They chose finalists from among 35 contenders.
The finalists are: Ahmad Abdullah-Muhammad, Gary Acosta, Kevin Soyer, Nia Thompson, Renaldo "Red" Frederick, Ronald Forde, Seth Sylvester, Shimiah Lewis, Shineque Saunders, Sophia Cooper, Tineka Francois and Zakiya Gill
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/FCNPS, follow nationalpoetryslamtt on Instagram or Twitter, or call 289-1595.