22 October 2010


National Poetry Day 2010 celebrations at Nalis proved to be a success. This year’s celebration highlighted the work of Harold M. Telemaque. The Tobago-born Telemaque was one of the leading and better known Trinidad and Tobago poets of the pre-independence period. He published Burnt Bush with A.M Clarke in 1947, a book that that was eventually discussed on the famed Caribbean Voices programme of the BBC. He received acclaim for his work and was regarded as a leading poet of the West Indies.

Nalis began celebrating National Poetry Day with a Primary Schools Poetry Verse reading Competition, held at the Audio Visual Room, National library of Trinidad and Tobago. The competition consisted of two rounds. In the first round, students of participating schools read the test piece entitled ‘The Tree’ by Harold M. Telemaque while in the second round they read a poem of their choice.

After minutes of talented reading by competing primary school students Alyssa Phillip of St. Crispin Anglican School won first place while Joshua Elcock of Moulton Hall Methodist placed second. In third place was Gideon Shallow of Glosterlodge Moravian.

Afternoon celebrations were dedicated to the Secondary Schools Poetry Verse Reading Competition and the Open Mic session. The same rules applied to Secondary School participants where they would read a test piece in the first round followed by one of their choice.

To the amazement of many, several participants read their own work during the second round, a sign that poetry is in good hands in Trinidad and Tobago. Amir Hall of Queens Royal College, who read his own work, placed first followed by Dionnne Williams of Malick Secondary. Third place went to Ryan Abraham of Fatima who also read his own work.

Poetry fans had a fun filled National Poetry Day at Nalis this year. The Open Mic session was not only entertaining but sought to introduce many patrons to the art of poetry. For more on local poetry or the work of Harold M. Telemaque, Nalis invites you to browse their poetry collection of local and international poets.