USJ hosts ‘The 2nd Macao-wide English Poetry Writing and Recital Contest’ final round

2023-04-24 03:26     BY Rui Pastorin    Comment:0

The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) held the final round of “The 2nd Macao-wide English Poetry Writing and Recital Contest” on Saturday, with winners across three categories – Elementary, Secondary and University – awarded in a ceremony held on the same day.

Themed “A Pocketful of Effervescence in the Greater Bay Area [GBA]”, its categories comprised “Sights and Flavours”, “Blended Cultures” and “A Walk Down Memory Lane”, with the private Catholic university receiving more than 700 submissions from 37 schools and universities.

Saturday’s event had 15 finalists each in the Elementary School and Secondary School categories while there were 10 in the University category. All of them memorised and recited their poems in front of panel of judges and respective audiences.

There were nine cash prizes, which totalled 19,000 patacas, awarded to the champion, first runner-up, and second runner-up of each category.

The champion of the Elementary Category was Premier School Affiliated to Hou Kong Middle School’s Primary 3 student Chan Ay Ren for his poem “Macao’s Cobbled Pavement”. In the Secondary Category, Matilde Neves dos Santos Augusto from Colégio Diocesano São José 6 was named as champion for her piece “Home”, while University of Saint Joseph Doctorate student Alexandre Lebel was winner of the University category with his poem “The tide”.

The champions also received hotel vouchers sponsored by the Macao Youth Greater Bay Area Development Association, which co-organised the event.

The importance of the contest and poetry

“We run these contests so that we can encourage the students to use their English and develop their English expressions”, USJ’s English Language Centre Director Duncan Miers told reporters during the on-campus event on Saturday.

Miers, who is also USJ’s principal lecturer, also told The Macau Post Daily that poetry “is one of the highest forms of a language. If you can use poetic utterances in your speech, it shows that you have really developed skills of language and here we are doing it in English.

“And so, we want the candidates to see that it’s not just a matter of being able to speak the words correctly, pronounce them right, but actually to feel the meaning of what they are saying”, Miers said.

Meanwhile, in a speech before the three winners were announced, Miers noted that the contest has been a “tremendous success”. He noted that after preliminary screening, “approximately 300 poems were left to be evaluated for their written compositions and recitals by two panels of eight judges. Overall, there has been a marked improvement in the poems, across the board with some outstanding compositions among them”.

He added that this year’s theme had “brought together a diverse range of glimpses into the collective memories of the contestants who have expressed their own perspectives of what gives rise to their passion for their home towns and other places within the Greater Bay Area of China”.

Miers also revealed the theme of next year’s contest, which is “Macao – the garden of life”. Its subcategories are “beauty in the eye of the beholder”, “wisdom of the ages”, and “emotions running over”.

USJ’s English Language Centre Director and Principal Lecturer Duncan Miers delivers a speech during Saturday’s event. – Photo: Rui Pastorin

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