The Annual Ponm Damou Poetry Slam

The annual Ponm Damou Poetry Slam, hosted by Ponm Damou Kreations, has aimed to become a national event that enriches lives through the creativity of the spoken and written word. The Appleton Arts Café is the home to this year’s competition, being its seventh year, where the fifth preliminary round was held last Thursday.

Hosted by Kensley Peter Charlemagne, who is the founder of Ponm Damou Kreations, the event saw three poets participating. Emerging as finalists and moving forward to the next round of the poetry slam were Jarron Alexander, also known as ‘Black Crayon’’, and Christian Joseph.

 Kingsley Peter Charlemagne is the proud producer of Ponm Damou which affords local poets to express themselves in an open competition setting.

Kingsley Peter Charlemagne is the proud producer of Ponm Damou which affords local poets to express themselves in an open competition setting.

When asked about the inspiration behind the Ponm Dammou Poetry Slam, Charlemagne told The STAR. “The idea came to me during a visit to England in 2008. I got a flyer which advertised a Fargo Poetry Slam. The concept was foreign to me at the time. I did not get to go to the event but I researched it online. The most difficult thing to source was the judging criteria, but persistence paid off.”

He went on, “I was doing a stint at Keebee’s restaurant and bar on the Chausee and the place shut down and so I needed to find another venue. Kimlan’s restaurant was available and so I thought it would work well there. I had a bit of opposition to do it there but I forged ahead and it is what it is today. The intention really is to harness the wealth of talent available in Saint Lucia and to give the youth an outlet for positive engagement.”
Charlemagne explained, “The event is open to participants eighteen years and above and is a creative outlet seeking participation of 36-48 poets to move towards the finals. In February of next year the ‘Champion of Champions’ will be held. Each participating poet is usually required to perform three pieces, each piece lasting for no more than three minutes. The poets participate in three rounds of competition on each night, running for seven weeks, with six qualifying rounds and the finals.”

Black Crayon performing at last week’s poetry slam.

Black Crayon performing at last week’s poetry slam.

The competition commenced in the first week of November and is scheduled to climax on December 24th, 2015.

Training is provided and apart from random prizes for the preliminary winners, there is a grand prize of $1,000. Winners thus far have been: Felicia Montoute, Claudius Medouze, Flora Jessy Leonce, Robert Rene, Brendon ‘Young B’Joseph and Alice Madard.

Overall, judging from last week’s engaging, entertaining and very successful poetry slam session, the majority, if not all present, would unanimously agree that Charlemagne’s vision is certainly being realized. Poetry and spoken word lovers alike are gearing up for this week’s very promising session which is scheduled for Thursday 17th December. Interested persons can contact the Arts Café for more information.

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