First Citizens National Poetry Slam 2016

The biggest poetry slam in the Caribbean (formerly: Verses Bocas Poetry Slam).

Seth Sylvester is the 2016 First Citizens National Poetry Slam Champion and winner of $20,000! In the semi-final round of the First Citizens National Poetry Slam, he stole hearts with his sensational ode to TV presenter Desha Rambajhan, to secure his spot in the final. Then, on Sunday 1 May, he captured imaginations to rise to the top of his cohort of fourteen finalists.

Sylvester was flanked by Kyle Hernandez in second place with a cash prize of $5,000, and 2014 champion Idrees Saleem in third place receiving $3,000.

Over 140 spoken word artists of all ages auditioned for the First Citizens National Poetry Slam, and 33 semi-finalists competed for a spot in the Finals, the finale event of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, held on Sunday 1 May 2016. Both semi-final rounds were judged by a select panel of local poets, and the Final was judged by a panel of internationally renowned, prize-winning poets, participants in the annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest. 


The First Citizens National Poetry Slam (formerly known as the VERSES Bocas Poetry Slam) is a national spoken word competition sponsored by First Citizens. Started on the University of the Southern Caribbean’s campus in 2012 by a group of driven, socially conscious young artistes known as the 2 Cents Movement, the support of the Bocas Lit Fest and sponsorship from First Citizens has seen this event grow into a national showdown between the best local spoken word artists, competing for over TT$30,000 in prizes. Past winners include Crystal Skeete, who took the top prize in 2013 with the piece “Maxi Man Tracking School Gyal”, Idrees Saleem in 2014, and Akile Wallace in 2015.