19 October 2015


Kaveesh Sylvan of Grant Memorial Primary School and Bellini John of Holy Name Convent Port of Spain were the winners of the Heritage Library’s Annual Poetry Verse Reading Competition held on October 12 and15 respectively, and Akeel Mitchell of theYouth Training Centre won the Poetry Open Mic Competition hosted by the Young Adult Library on October 14. The competitions, held at the National Library, were hosted in commemoration of National Poetry Day and were sponsored by Phoenix Park Processors Limited for the second consecutive year.  This year’s theme was “You Me We and de Environment”.


Sylvan’s whose piece was titled “What you can do?” competed in the Primary School Category while John competed in the Secondary School Category of the Verse Reading Competitions. Her piece was titled “Health, Safety and Environment.”  Students also had to perform the test piece, “Is We” by Rajah in the first round of the competition.  Primary and secondary competition winners walked away with a challenge trophy, books and electronic tablets. 


The Poetry Slam, Open Mic Competition was opened to persons 13 – 17 years of age.  Mitchell’s rendition of “Why?” was captivating.   He earned himself the first place prize of an electronic tablet and gift bag.


The judges for the competitions included Nicholas Sosa, President  of the Circle of Poets and other members of the Circle of Poets, Patricia Dalrymple and Cassie Senghor; Safiya Baksh-Hosein of Trinidad and Tobago Poet;  Mtima Solwazi, found of Cascadoo as well as officials of the Heritage Library Division and Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited.


NALIS took the opportunity to pay tribute to the late Anson Gonzalez, Poet Laureate (2002-2009) with a recital of one of his poems performed by Jasmin Simmons, Libarian IV Heritage Library. Gonzalez introduced National Poetry Day in Trinidad and Tobago in 1979, celebrated on October 15.

By hosting the poetry competitions, NALIS hopes to embed an appreciation for poetry among students while helping to develop their poetry recital skills through friendly competition.



Full Results as Follows:

Primary School:

1st Place: Kaveesh Sylvan – Grant Memorial Primary School

2nd Place: Aryanna Ramdath – El Dorado North Hindu School

3rd Place: Chayn Valley- Grant Memorial Primary School


Secondary School:

1st Place: Bellini John – Holy Name Convent Port of Spain

2nd Place: Lexi Browne – Holy Name Convent Port of Spain

3rd Place: Emerald Hospedales- Siparia West Secondary School


Open Mic Poetry Slam:

1st Place: Akeel MitchellYouth Training Centre

2nd Place: Hansley GomesYouth Training Centre

3rd Place: Maria Peters St. Augustine Secondary School