Alexander tops poetry awards

BY BASIL WALTERS Observer writer

Sunday, December 07, 2014

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NICHOLAS Alexander was recently recognised as Redbones Blues Café's Best Poet of the Year during the popular eatery's 14th annual poetry awards.

For copping the top prize, Alexander, a literature and English teacher, received $4,000 and a Redbones' Gift Certificate valued $7,500.

"I appreciate this award very much, it's a great thing. I envisioned this happening (winning) when I heard of this event," said Alexander, who performed his poems My Mother's Salt and Brothers In The Pit.

Everard Esquire Smith was awarded $3,000 for placing second and an additional $3,000 for his poem Time, which won the Poem of the Year. He also received a $2,000 gift certificate.

INANSI, one of two female poets in the field, was third. She was presented with a bottle of champagne for recitations of her original pieces, The Heart Beat, She Rock and Welcome Back JAMROCK.

Before announcing the top three contestants, poet laureate and chief judge Mervyn Morris noted that the results were influenced by originality, not performance.

University of the West Indies professor Carolyn Cooper and journalist/poet Mel Cooks were the other judges.

Evon Williams, proprietor of Redbones, spoke to the Jamaica Observer about the competition.

"Poetry is the focus on the last Wednesday of each month at Redbones, and over a 10-month period we invited around 20 poets and selected the ones with potential," he said.

This year's invitees also included Mavric Webb, who opened the award winning fare with a lively set; Denver Robertson, Dawn McGregor, Black Hustle, and Richard James.

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