Monday, November 7, 2011

I Won!!!! Twice!

November 1st is Antigua's Independence Day and there is usually a few events to celebrate the nation's independence from Great Britain. One of the events was the Literary Arts Competition. I never competited before, in part because I'm a bit of a chicken, because I never saw myself as a great poet and I never pushed myself to my limits.

For the last year and a half, I've been taking part in the Wadadli Pen Open Mic which is put on by Best of Books and through that association with the great people at Best of Books, I was able to build up the courage to submit a piece. The piece was This Is Not A Good Time and it was a dynamic piece for me as I had not written it down before I performed it. It was something that formed in my mind and I had a rough idea of how it should be told. The first time I did it, I got positive feedback so I typed it up and submitted it, correction, I typed it up, then edited it as it had more words than was allowed.

I will be honest, I forgot about it until my mom told me they were promoting it on the radio and asked if I was invited. I hadn't but it didn't bother me, but the next day I saw one of the people from Best of Books and the day after I had an invite to attend the award ceremony. I then got a call from a young man reminding me about the event and that I should bring a copy of the poem. At that time, I thought there was a possibility that I would have to read, but it was when I was asked if I was prepared to read the piece by the Chairperson of the committee that I realised that I better practice.

The night came and I was instructed to sit close to the stage so that I could go up the stage easily. In attendence was the Governor General and the head of the Senate. The evening was really nice, those who participated in the competition got a certificate (the first pic). My group, 18+ Poetry, was near the end and I was the second person out of the three finalist to read. We were made to sit on the stage and were called up to collect our prizes from the Governor General. After hearing the last finalist read, I started to wonder who would win.

I figured that I would be second, so I kinda prepared to get up when they called my name. They called the other lady's name, I was shocked and I am the kind of person whose emotions show on her face so everyone saw that I was shocked. I got the glass award above and felt pretty awesome. There was one last award to be presented, The overall winner.

I got comfy in my seat and waited to find out who would get it. I saw the front of the award as it was being passed to the Committee Chairperson and noticed that the name kinda looks like mine. Yes, although I don't have perfect vision, I know the outline of my name. Guess who won the overall winner?

I am at the least honoured and at the most humbled. I have been writing poetry since I was about 13 and it is what comes naturally. It is one of the ways I express myself. No matter where I am in the world, as long as I have a blank piece of paper, I will draw and I will write a poem. It is in my DNA and it is alway a great thing to be recognized for it.

Thank you everyone associated with the Independence Literary Arts Competition 2011, from the Chairpersons to the Judges. This really means alot to me. Forgive me, I'm not usually this sappy but it is how I feel. Thanks again.

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