Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 8th 2015 Contents RACHAEL ESPINET
Akile Wallace, a founding
member of the 2Cents Move-
ment was crowned the new
Monarch of Spoken Word Poetry
on Sunday at the Verses Boca Poet-
ry Slam competition at the Globe
Wallace, who championed the
rights of squatters, placed first
among a fierce competition of 13
poets vying to be named the best
spoken word artist in the country.
Verses was the final event of the
Bocas Lit Fest which took place last
week at Nalis Port-of-Spain.
Each poet brought a distinct flair
of their own as they talked about
issues that deeply mattered to them.
Some of the issues discussed ranged
from current affairs, torrid love
affairs, the question surrounding
morality, family, street harassment
and what it means to be a writer.
Wallace said when he saw the
other performances, he did not
expect to win, so his win was a sur-
"I feel amazing. Especially listen-
ing to all the other performers in
the moment, I thought I wouldn t
even place," he said.
He said he was originally asked
last year to write a poem against
squatting, but he could not because
he found it unfair and prejudiced.
Instead, he decided to write poem
discussing both sides of the argu-
"One day I was asked to write a
piece on squatting for an event. They
wanted a piece against squatting.
When I thought about the issue I
realised that I did not believe squat-
ters were totally in the wrong, so I
decided to write a balanced piece,"
While he did not perform that
piece for that show, Wallace kept
the poem and kept on rewriting the
piece until he got the draft he deliv-
ered on Sunday night. Wallace has
entered the Verses competition twice
before, placing second and third.
Alluding to squatters from Sea
Lots, Guave Road and others from
around the country, Wallace asked:
"So many problems going on in the
world, and you left all that to tell
me squatting is wrong?"
One powerful issue he addressed
was the difficulty for people in the
lower socio-economic class to law-
fully access land of their own because
there is no sufficient legislature in
place to regulate housing and land
Second-place winner Derron
Sandy was inspired by the popular
children s movie Frozen to show how
greater authorities try to freeze young
people from being successful and
making a difference in the world.
"I was an MC at a children s party
in February. These children were
telling me about what songs to play.
I wrote a speech about them and it
was for them," he said.
He used a winter motif to discuss
how people are trying to silence the
poets and the radicals of the
Caribbean. One can even infer that
his use of winter and reference to
the movie Frozen is a critique on
how neo-colonisation from the glob-
al north has influenced the country
and silenced those who want to bring
"The piece is about anybody who
tried to obstruct the future by freez-
ing them in some way. It could be
anything. Rapists, molestation, any-
thing that freezes youth and puts
them in a stagnant state, it has to
be burned down through my writ-
ing," Sandy said.
Third-place winner, Kleon
McPherson placed for his fast-paced
poem on a torrid love affair that
happened all in a dream.
One of the crowd s favourites was
Jabari Lynch, who gave poignant
blows to many issues going on in
the country. Lynch invoked the
essence of a Robber Talk in his poem
by adopting the "voice of poetry"
as his own.
"This is not Jabari, this is the voice
of poetry. Who dares stop me?" he
constantly reminded the audience.
Starting off, he yelled: "If I can t
say cyat then you can t say dog."
Lynch claimed that the Govern-
ment has been "abusing parliamen-
tary privilege" and being "hypocrit-
ical." He referenced issues from the
controversy surrounding Tobago East
MP Vernella Alleyne-Toppin who
made rape allegations against Oppo-
sition Leader Dr Keith Rowley s
Addressing issues of crime in the
country, Lynch condemned the judg-
ments many have for those in high-
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Google s influential search
engine has hit a tipping point
in technology s shift to
smartphones. More search
requests are now being made
on mobile devices than on
personal computers in the
US and many other parts of
The milestone announced
at a digital advertising con-
ference Tuesday serves as
another reminder of how
dramatically online behavior
has changed since 2007.
That s when Apple released
the first iPhone, leading to a
wave of similar devices that
have made it easier for peo-
ple to stay connected to the
Internet wherever they go.
The upheaval has rocked
PC makers and other tech
companies such as Microsoft
with businesses tied to sales
of desktop and laptop com-
puters. Google has been able
to adapt better than most
companies, partly because
its search engine and other
services are embedded in the
popular Android mobile op-
erating system, but it hasn t
been totally unscathed. (AP)
Continues on Page B2
Googling on mobile devices surpasses PCs in US for first time
Poets spin tales of love, politics, woe
A group shot of the Verses finalists
with the judges, sponsors and
organisers of the Bocas Lit Fest.
PHOTO: 2CENTS MOVEMENT
Each poet brought a distinct flair of their own as
they talked about issues that deeply mattered to
them. Some of the issues discussed ranged from
current affairs, torrid love affairs, the question
surrounding morality, family, street harassment
and what it means to be a writer.
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