Soualigan Fyah competition today

POSTED: 02/15/13 1:31 PM

St. Maarten—The Soualigan Fyah, a poetry/spoken word competition for teens ages 13-18, will get its official launch this afternoon, at 5 p.m., at the Jubilee Library.
The event, organized by Lysanne Charles of 5 Square Miles Productions in collaboration with the library and Imbali Center for Creative Movement, will begin with an orientation evening, before moving into the first round of competition next Friday.

“Today the teens will basically get a packet with the rules of the competition and the rubric. They will also get to read some of their pieces, just to get rid of the jitters and hear from veteran poets who I have invited to share their work,” Charles said.

She said that the younger poets would also be able to ask some of the veteran performers for feedback if they so desired. Charles explained that the first 30 teens that arrived and registered would be eligible to compete in the event.
“I definitely think there is a need for this kind of event for the young people. After organizing Summers Speaks and Winter’s Words and going to different events and hearing young poets like Andrew Peterson, Gabriella Prensa, and others, I knew I wanted to organize something like this, so I am definitely excited that it is finally going to happen,” she continued.
The final round of competition is scheduled for March 15 and the top 3 teens from each week, along with a teen picked in the wildcard spot would advance to this evening.
“Thus far, the winner will be able to perform at Summer Speaks and Winter’s Words, on radio, will receive a book bundle generously donated by House of Nehesi Publishers and will travel to Tortola to perform at the annual Microphone Messenjah held there if parents’ consent,” Charles said.
She said that several other prizes were pending and would be released as they came in.
“This event is about more than prizes though; it’s about the development of poetry and spoken word on our island. I’m grateful to House of Nehesi for its donation, because after all it was and is the platform which gave and gives many St. Maarten poets a voice. This is what Soualigan Fyah is about, giving our young people a platform to share their views and let their voices be heard,” Charles said.
Charles said she is encouraging all interested young poets who fit the age criteria, and are high school based, to come out and participate in this event. She is also encouraging them to bring along their support network, but promises to create a supportive environment for all poets. “This is just the beginning of Soualigan Fyah and hopefully with the enthusiasm of the young people and the support of the community it is a vehicle for artistic development which will be around for a long time,” Charles said.


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