Ten poets will move on to the finals of the 2021 First Citizens National Poetry Slam. They will challenge two-time, defending champion Alexandra Stewart for the grand prize of $50,000.
The top-scoring poets were announced live on the NOW Morning show on TTT on September 3. TTT is the 2021 broadcast partner of Slam producer, the Bocas Lit Fest. The station aired the semi-final to TV and online audiences on August 22 and 29.
The final of the 2021 First Citizens National Poetry Slam (FCNPS) will also be televised by the national broadcaster on October 17, said a media release.
In a first for the Slam, judges watched the poets’ semi-final performances virtually, and the live auditions in July were also completely virtual via the Zoom platform.
Gillian Benjamin, head of brand and marketing at First Citizens, in revealing the finalists, noted that the poets have been adaptable and continue to be powerful in their delivery, despite the new format of the event in the pandemic.
“This year’s theme, Poetry is Resilience is applicable because of the pandemic, yes, but it has always been a hallmark of poetry and spoken word. Poets have been bravely stepping up to the mic for many years,” Benjamin said in the release.
First Citizens has been title sponsor of the prize since 2013.
The theme of this year’s FCNPS symbolises how important artistic expression has been throughout these uncertain times, and how impactful spoken word continues to be for poets and those who hear them, the release said.
The 2021 finalists include new voices such as Ronaldo Mohammed, who made it to the semi-final round in 2020 but is a first-time finalist, as well as seasoned spoken-word poets such as Zakiya Gill, host of spoken word workshops in her hometown of Guayaguayare, and previous finalists Michael Logie, Derron Sandy and Seth Sylvester, a past winner of the National Slam.
For updates, visit www.bocaslitfest.com/youth/poetry-slam/, and follow nationalpoetryslamtt on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FCNPS
The finalists are:
· 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