By Wole Adedoyin
AFTER an emergency meeting which held virtually on Thursday, October 7, 2021 by the ANA Poetry Slam Committee, headed by ANA PRO North, Umar Yogiza, it was decided that the prize fund for this year be raised to N100,000 (one hundred thousand naira only) from the N50,000 (fifty thousand naira only) that it was initially fixed. The committee informed that ANA may later raise the prize money higher depending on the sponsorship of the Slam. The Slam is slated to hold on November 4, 2021 at the celebration of ANA @40 Anniversary at the Mamman Vatsa Writers Village, Mpape, Abuja.
ANA Poetry Slam is a competition initiated to draw attention of ANA members to the art of performance poetry. The slam will see contestants battle for the prize of N100,000 and the title of ANA Poetry Slam Champion. According to a statement issued by ANA National Publicity Secretary (North), Yogiza said poets can reach the coordinator to indicate interest by sending their biodata. He said participation is free and open to any poet irrespective of age or gender. Poets are advised to their name, gender, phone contact/Email address, short bio and a photograph to email@example.com.
Yogiza explained the rules of the Slam to include that poems can be on any subject and in any style, poems must be original work of the performer, use of props not allowed. Generally, poets are allowed to use their given environment and the accessories it offers, such as microphones, mic stands, the stage itself, chairs on stage, a table or bar top, the aisle as long as these accessories are available to other competitors as well. Also, Yogiza said no musical instruments or pre-recorded music shall be used, saying a poet who violates this rule will be scored of zero.
He further said no costumes are allowed. The Slam Committee may apply a two-point deduction for violation of the costume rule. Poets must recite their poems from memory, noting that using a written medium (paper, notebook, etc) will result in deduction of points from the performer’s score. Poets cannot sing or use musical instruments or props; if they do, they will have points deducted from their score, he stated. Poets must finish their poem within three minutes; if they go over that time frame, they will have half a point deducted from their final score for the round for every half-minute they go past three minutes. Lastly, Yogiza said there shall be three rounds of performance, ending with the top two poets facing off in the final round. Interested poets are advised to send their details to the email: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Adedoyin is Association of Nigerian Authors’ PRO, South