Slamming it at Mandala


KATHMANDU, FEB 08 – Five young poets, Chiran Raj Pandey, Kriti Adhikari, Rupesh Bhattarai, Prizma Khosin and Arya Razouria, were announced the winners of QC Awards 2015: The Youth Poetry Slam. The event was jointly organised by Quixote’s Cove bookshop and Word Warriors, and the five winners were selected from 22 finalists in a competitive event held at Mandala Theatre, Anamnagar, on Saturday.

Although themed around the slogan ‘the poet is not the point but the point is the poetry’, the slam saw intense battles among the budding yet talented spoken-word poets. The participants churned and twisted their phrases to make hard-hitting poetry. Hidden– sometimes in the beauty of rhymed words, while at other times in quixotic phrases–were stories about the horrors of our times and about dealing with the ennui of daily living.

Because the majority of the poets were girls–mostly just past their teens–the event saw quite a few performances that focused on women’s issues: a story of a female street kid who is raped and thrown into the Bagmati; of an old lady who keeps her miseries to herself; of a lover who melts at the thought of her boyfriend; of a girl who is mad at her cheating boyfriend. Some of the poets also dealt with philosophical topics, and some created portraits of selves that mirrored the state of our society.

The competition comprised4 two rounds in which three minutes were allotted for each poet to perform a piece of original work in the language of their choice. The second round saw the field whittled down to the top ten performers, wherein the poets had to perform another original poem. The five highest-scoring performers were declared winners by the panel of judges, which included Rajan Khatiwada, Prawin Adhikari, Biplav Pratik, Sneha Shrestha and Samriddhi Goyal.

The 22 finalists were selected through auditions that were organised at three different venues around Kathmandu on Saturday, January 31. Prior to the auditions, the participants were introduced to the art of spoken-word poetry through two introductory workshops. The workshops aimed to equip interested participants with various linguistics and performance techniques that would help them hone their poetry-writing and performance skills.

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