Raise The Bar

RAISE THE HISTORY

Raise The Bar (RTB) is a youth poetry festival designed to promote the youth voice as one of authority on social issues and cultivate the art of storytelling. The festival also encourages respectful discourse and the exchange of perspectives.

RTB was birthed out of direct school engagements by The 2 Cents Movement and the demand for learning the art form of spoken word/performance poetry. This engagement is derived through our school tours and Future Authors programme, which are after-school poetry sessions in various schools.

The festival started as an individual showcase for students and grew into a school festival for teams to participate in. From 2013 to 2019, the festival reached over 100,000 students through performance and participation. This resulted in the sustaining and development of an oral art form in Trinidad and Tobago and the self-discovery of hundreds of young people.

Participants in Raise the Bar have gone on to become poetry slam champions and poet laureates abroad. The festival has also led to viral social media videos on issues that are important to young people. The festival itself is one of the few art festivals that encourages the exploration of social issues. The theme this year is ‘School Violence,’ and participants will tackle the issue through poetry.

RAISE THE HISTORY

Raise The Bar (RTB) is a youth poetry festival designed to promote the youth voice as one of authority on social issues and cultivate the art of storytelling. The festival also encourages respectful discourse and the exchange of perspectives.

RTB was birthed out of direct school engagements by The 2 Cents Movement and the demand for learning the art form of spoken word/performance poetry. This engagement is derived through our school tours and Future Authors programme, which are after-school poetry sessions in various schools.

The festival started as an individual showcase for students and grew into a school festival for teams to participate in. From 2013 to 2019, the festival reached over 100,000 students through performance and participation. This resulted in the sustaining and development of an oral art form in Trinidad and Tobago and the self-discovery of hundreds of young people.

Participants in Raise the Bar have gone on to become poetry slam champions and poet laureates abroad. The festival has also led to viral social media videos on issues that are important to young people. The festival itself is one of the few art festivals that encourages the exploration of social issues. The theme this year is ‘School Violence,’ and participants will tackle the issue through poetry.

Who can participate?

Only secondary school students can participate because the festival is targeted at Secondary Schools.

When is the next event?

2CM is not in a position to suggest or confirm any date. However, when a date is announced it will be thoroughly circulated through our social media handles (See the bottom of the page).

Who can participate?

Only secondary school students can participate because the festival is targeted at Secondary Schools.

When is the next event?

2CM is not in a position to suggest or confirm any date. However, when a date is announced it will be thoroughly circulated through our social media handles (See the bottom of the page).

RAISE THE WINNER

RAISE THE COMPETITION

Pay attention to these rules and guidelines for competition supremacy. The competition has two phases:

RAISE THE WINNER

RAISE THE COMPETITION

Pay attention to these rules and guidelines for competition supremacy. The competition has two phases:

1) INTERNAL SLAM

The internal slam for this competition would be held within the respective schools. These in-house slams would consist of three judges and focus on the individual poems as a way of choosing the best one for the finals. The other two poems to be produced (group and speed round) can be tested at these internal slams as a way of seeing crowd feedback, team cohesion and any necessary tweaks.

2) FINALS

The finals will be made up of five (5) schools. This time, however, the schools would be pitted against each other in an attempt to win the various attainable titles. Five judges would score in real time during the event and awards would be awarded according to the “Raise the Awards” section of this page.

1) INTERNAL SLAM

The internal slam for this competition would be held within the respective schools. These in-house slams would consist of three judges and focus on the individual poems as a way of choosing the best one for the finals. The other two poems to be produced (group and speed round) can be tested at these internal slams as a way of seeing crowd feedback, team cohesion and any necessary tweaks.

2) FINALS

The finals will be made up of five (5) schools. This time, however, the schools would be pitted against each other in an attempt to win the various attainable titles. Five judges would score in real time during the event and awards would be rewarded according to the “Raise the Awards” section of this page.

RAISE THE RULES

Team Composition

1. Each team must have a maximum of six and a minimum of three participants.

2. Each team member must appear on stage at some point for finals.

3. Teams must have a unique team name. This name will either be the name of the poetry club in the school or a name developed for the competition. E.g. San Fernando Central Metaphors. This name is to be preserved by the school for years to come.

4. Teams must have a team jersey. See the 2 Cents Movement for advice on printing. If teams cannot source a jersey, the school uniform should be used.

5. Teams must have a chant to be said by the team and their supporters before a performance. Chants must be brief, positive, rhythmic and poetic. E.g. “our voices are going nowhere, we speak!”

Scoring

Live scoring is used. This means that as soon as the performance is complete the five judges will be required to show their scores immediately. The highest score and lowest score will be eliminated, as such, the three middle scores will be used to determine the team’s final score.

RAISE THE RULES

Team Composition

  1. Each team must have a maximum of six and a minimum of three participants.
  2. Each team member must appear on stage at some point for finals.
  3. Teams must have a unique team name. This name will either be the name of the poetry club in the school or a name developed for the competition. E.g. San Fernando Central Metaphors. This name is to be preserved by the school for years to come.
  4. Teams must have a team jersey. See the 2 Cents Movement for advice on printing. If teams cannot source a jersey, the school uniform should be used.
  5. Teams must have a chant to be said by the team and their supporters before a performance. Chants must be brief, positive, rhythmic and poetic. E.g. “our voices are going nowhere, we speak!”

Scoring

Live scoring is used. This means that as soon as the performance is complete the five judges will be required to show their scores immediately. The highest score and lowest score will be eliminated, as such, the three middle scores will be used to determine the team’s final score.

RAISE THE ROUNDS

  • Round 1 will be the individual round. In this round, the winner from the internal slam will present a poem.
  • The maximum time allowed for this round is three (3) minutes. Poets exceeding this time will lose three (3) points.
  • There is no theme for round one and performers may write on any topic.
  • The poem must be written by the performer. He/She may receive help from coaches, teammates and other mentors. However, the work must originally belong to the performer. If a performer is found to have performed a poem that he/she did not write or plagiarised, they will receive zero points for the round where that poem is performed.
  • Round 2 will be the group poem round. Teams must send at least 2 poets to compete in this round.
  • The maximum time allowed for this round is four (4) minutes. Poets exceeding this time will lose three (3) points.
  • There is no theme for this round. The poem must be written by the performer/s. They may receive help from coaches, teammates and other mentors. However, the work must originally belong to the performer/s. If a performer/s is found to have performed a poem that they did not write or plagiarised, they will receive zero points for the round where that poem is performed.
  • Round 3 will be the speed round. Teams can send any number of poets to compete in this round.
  • The maximum time allowed for this round is one (1) minute, Poets exceeding this time will lose ten (20) points.
  • The 2023 theme for the speed round is school violence. Teams that do not write on the theme for this round will lose twenty (20) points.
  • The poem must be written by the performer/s. They may receive help from coaches, teammates and other mentors. However, the work must originally belong to the performer/s. If a performer/s is found to have performed a poem that they did not write or plagiarised, they will receive zero points for the round where that poem is performed.

RAISE THE ROUNDS

Round 1 (Individual)

– Round 1 will be the individual round. In this round, the winner from the internal slam will present a poem.

– The maximum time allowed for this round is three (3) minutes. Poets exceeding this time will lose three (3) points.

– There is no theme for round one and performers may write on any topic.

– The poem must be written by the performer. He/She may receive help from coaches, teammates and other mentors. However, the work must originally belong to the performer. If a performer is found to have performed a poem that he/she did not write or plagiarised, they will receive zero points for the round where that poem is performed.

Round 2 (Group)

– Round 2 will be the group poem round. Teams must send at least 2 poets to compete in this round.

– The maximum time allowed for this round is four (4) minutes. Poets exceeding this time will lose three (3) points.

– There is no theme for this round. The poem must be written by the performer/s. They may receive help from coaches, teammates and other mentors. However, the work must originally belong to the performer/s. If a performer/s is found to have performed a poem that they did not write or plagiarised, they will receive zero points for the round where that poem is performed.

Round 3 (Speed)

– Round 3 will be the speed round. Teams can send any number of poets to compete in this round.

– The maximum time allowed for this round is one (1) minute, Poets exceeding this time will lose ten (20) points.

– The 2023 theme for the speed round is school violence. Teams that do not write on the theme for this round will lose twenty (20) points.

– The poem must be written by the performer/s. They may receive help from coaches, teammates and other mentors. However, the work must originally belong to the performer/s. If a performer/s is found to have performed a poem that they did not write or plagiarised, they will receive zero points for the round where that poem is performed.

RAISE THE AWARDS

RAISE THE AWARDS

Slam Champion Crown

This will be the team that scores the highest after the three rounds in the Finals.

Individual Slam Crown

This title goes to the highest-scoring individual poem in the Finals.

Speed Slammers

This title goes to the highest-scoring Round Three Poem.

Raise the Spirit Award

This goes to an individual who showed great team spirit, community participation and leadership throughout the entire festival. This individual will be well known for his/her spirit of camaraderie and fellowship throughout the festival.

Skip to content