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Competing against our Defending Champion
Alexandra Stewart

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Semifinals Judges

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Audition Judges

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2023 First Citizens National Poetry Slam Rubric

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Poets will be penalised for exceeding their time.

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2022 marked the 10th Anniversary of the National Poetry Slam which 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.

From 2020 and 2021, the First Citizens National Poetry Slam was a televised event with live judging broadcast and streamed to the public for free. Closed auditions were held via Zoom, where twenty poets were chosen for the semi-final rounds airing in August of both years.

In 2022, all stages of the competition were accessible for public viewing, for free, and was hosted by popular personalities, Ainika Will and Thaddy Boom before a panel of live judges. Twenty hopeful winners progressed to the semifinal round took place before an in-studio audience and was broadcasted on our media partner TTT Live. 

The Grand Slam was held at the Naparima Bowl and celebrated the 10th Slamiversary with 10 finalists plus the defending champion. Judges included Her Excellency President to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Paula Mae Weekes, Teresa White, Omari Ashby, Omari Ashby and elisha bartels. elisha bartels was the Head Judge.

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

  • 1089 poets auditioned (2013-2022)
  • 318 semi-finalists (2013-2022)
  • 110 finalists (2013-2022)
  • 33 winners (1st – 3rd places)
  • TT $587,000 distributed in prize money
  • 60 Slam events to date

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