Under the theme “Think Saint Lucia, Think Saint Lucia” the event formed part of Tourism Week activities.
The competition was aimed at promoting the island, and according to tourism officials, students who participated displayed a clear understanding of the art and craft of poetry.
Chief judge for the competition, Gandolph St. Clair, congratulated the students and shared his views on the competition.
“I am very very pleased with the standard of the work of the nine students. Amazing skill as you all heard, encouragement, opportunities to write are very few, you must love the written word. Derek Walcott said, ‘Words are all they’ve left us’ and it’s true. You read any poet anywhere in the world and you get that joy. If he is a true poet you will feel the skill…”
The winners of the competition were Curth Hippolyte of St. Mary’s College with 93 points, Cassandra Joseph of Sir Ira Simmons Secondary with 90 points, and Makenyl Thomas of St. Mary’s College with 87 points.
The students stated that they were encouraged to participate by friends and family as well as the desire of pursuing poetry as a passion and hobby.
Curth Hippolyte, the first-prize winner, with an entry entitled, “Lucian Tapestry”, shared his feelings about the competition.
“In writing the poem I just wanted to highlight Saint Lucia obviously, and also just take a more artistic approach than simply rhyming words or beautiful sentences. I wanted to paint that picture of Saint Lucia as a beautiful destination where people can come and have a holistic vacation and I thought that representing that in a painting would be appropriate.”
Officer in Charge – Product Development of the Ministry of Tourism, Deepa Gidharry, said the participation of students was encouraging and expressed hope of further opportunities for the youth with the recent launch of the Harold Simmons Folk Academy.