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Lardwaz launches poetry competition for children |12 October 2020

Lardwaz launches poetry competition for children

Ms Belle and Ms Juliette giving details about the poetry competition (Photo: Anel Robert)

The association of writers in Seychelles, ‘Lardwaz’, in collaboration with the National Arts Council (Nac), is organising a poetry competition for all children in government and private schools.

The competition for all primary and secondary students is to commemorate World Poetry Day on March 22, 2021. With the Covid-19 restrictions in place and cancellation of activities for the Festival Kreol in which the association was to participate, it has seen it fit to launch the competition so as to keep on encouraging students who used to participate in writing activities to continue writing and also to discover new talents.

So the aim of the competition is to develop artistic poetry at a young age and also apart from developing their writing skills, provide them with skills that will allow them not to be ashamed to stand and recite their work. It is also to enhance knowledge in relation to creative poetry so as to enable them to develop more throughout their education.

The competition is in relation to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic situation in the country and a set of 12 words have been given for the children to think and write about with regard to their future and what’s going on around them in relation to the pandemic.

The words to be used by the primary students are faith, love, peace, patience, creole and hope, while the secondary students will base their poems from the words optimistic, humanity, togetherness, generation, creativity and solidarity. The poems can be written either in Creole, English or French.

The students are entitled to make only one poem using one or all of the six words. For the primary students, their poems must be a minimum 8 lines or 2 verses or a maximum of 12 lines or 3 verses. With regards to the poetry competition for secondary students, they will have to make their poems using a minimum of 12 lines or 3 verses or a maximum of 20 lines or 5 verses. All poems should be typed on A4 papers, font Times New Roman, size 12.

According to the chairperson of Lardwaz, Carole Belle, the association wants to encourage the writing of poems among young people because at the moment not so many of them are practicing the art.

She noted that most of Seychelles’ poets are of the older generation and by bringing the competition at school level this will possibly encourage many to take up writing.

The entry forms are available at Nac and will be distributed online to the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD), including all primary and secondary schools on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.

The deadline for entries is on December 4, 2020, at Nac and the prize giving will be held on March 22, 2020, on World Poetry Day. The prizes will be in four categories – P1 – P3, P4 – P6, S1 – S2 and S3 – S5.

The Nac’s desk officer for Lardwaz, Joenise Juliette, said that a panel of jury is yet to be identified and that the work of the students will be displayed and later catalogued.

She said that Nac will produce a database from the outcome of the competition as it wants to continue to work with the students to improve their knowledge of poetry and also helping them to become better writers.

She called on school leaders to encourage students to participate.

“We want in the future to continue to have poets like Marie Clarisse, Stephanie Joubert, Helda Marie, Andrea Mounac, Peter Pierre-Louis and the late Edwin Henriette among other Seychelles’ well known poets,” Ms Juliette said.


Patrick Joubert

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