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Gloria Lyn Memorial Fund supports Poetry Clash 2015

Gloria Lyn Memorial Fund supports Poetry Clash 2015

The Department of Literatures in English hosted the second annual Poetry Clash competition in February 2015. The Poetry Clash is open to all students, irrespective of degree program and gives the poets an opportunity to perform and build a fan base.

The entries covered topics ranging from familial issues to poverty and sex, but it was clear which theme had the crowd going the wildest. Ten poets brought energy to the stage and an eagerness to not only have their voices heard, but to also win the coveted top prize of J$10,000 and publication in Susumba’s Book Bag.

The crowd's passionate response to each contestant was both a testament of and an influence on the event's success. Each cheer pulled in more spectators to the tented event. The audience was so engaged in the poetry, they became part of the performance.

When the crowd had to choose their winner, the process was intense as each participant’s supporters screamed their choice. In the end it was reigning champ, Peta- Gaye Williams, who stole the show, with poems that not only caught one by surprise, but also held each listener in weighted suspension. She was able to capture the moment through carefully crafted word imagery, and also immerse her audience in the experience as if it was right before their faces. Peta-Gaye is pursuing a double major in Literatures in English and Linguistics and won a Jamaica Cultural Development Commission Creative Writing Award in 2013.

Kaleb D’Aguilar, runner-up, gave it his all with his African-esque awareness of culture and human relations. Kaleb is studying for a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. He is also doing a minor in Literature to keep his writing current. He won the prize sponsored by the Gloria Lyn Memorial Fund. This Poetry Clash is in keeping with the aims of the Gloria Lyn Memorial Fund, to foster creative growth in the field of Literatures in English. The GLMF not only offered a prize but Cathy Lyn, the daughter of the late Gloria Lyn and an organizer of the GLMF, also served as one of the judges.

The event attracted a larger crowd this year, reflecting the ability of the poets to connect with the audience. The competition is expected to come back bigger and better in 2016.

Shanese White and Marjanne Lyn


  • Gloria Lyn


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