On the 25th of May, 2018, the Port Harcourt Literary Society held the maiden edition of it’s slam poetry competition tagged, “PHLS Poetry Slam 1.0.” The event which held at the society’s library in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, drew participation from all corners of Nigeria (i.e. from Jos, Lagos, Uyo, Bayelsa, and host city, Port Harcourt).
The Port Harcourt Literary Society received over 68 spoken word video entries for its Poetry slam maiden edition online submission via Instagram. Fifteen finalists were shortlisted from the long list, while an additional two poets were added as complementary list due to their outstanding video entry. Thus, seventeen poets graced the stage for the competition proper.
After a competitive three-round poetry contest, winners emerged for the Port Harcourt Literary Society Poetry Slam 1.0. The final round of the slam which consisted of five contestants saw Envoi_vates (male), Mc Fragile (female) and Toby Abiodun (male) clinch third, second and first, with a prize money of fifty thousand, seventy-five, and one-hundred thousand naira, respectively. All other contestants received five thousand naira each as consolation prize for their participation.
While presenting an award named after him for the best spoken word artiste, Nollywood actor, Dr Sam Dede, said the award which had an additional prize money attached, was to encourage literary endeavour in the Niger Delta. He applauded the Port Harcourt Literary Society for their commitment to the growth of art in the region.
To inspire a new generation of spoken word artistes, and in line with the PHLS Literature for Teens programme, the slam also featured a youth category which saw Ugo Ude, a fifteen year old student of the New Total Child Academy, Yenagoa, emerge winner with a prize money of ten thousand naira. The other three contestants in the youth category also received money prizes totaling fifteen thousand naira.
Judges of the PHLS maiden poetry slam include Efe Paul Azino (Lagos), Obii Ifejika (Lagos), Graciano Enwerem (PH/Lafia) and Andrew Patience (Jos).
The Port Harcourt Literary Society hopes to host it “PHLS Poetry Slam 2.0” sometime in the nearest future.
Below are some pictures from the event: