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National Poetry Competition 2024


Poetry Festival Singapore (PFS) is calling all aspiring poets! This is your chance to compete in the National Poetry Competition 2024 and have your voice ring out at a poetry marathon. The writers of the winning entries will have the opportunity to perform them at a poetry marathon from July 26 to 28 at the National Library or The Arts House. 


Submission Deadline: May 31, 2024 


Categories: Super Junior (10 to 13 years old), Junior (14 to 17 years old) and Senior (18 years old or above) 


Length: Up to 40 lines Language: English, Chinese, Malay or Tamil. The poems are evaluated by published poets in their respective mother tongues. English translations are required only for public performance at PFS or possible publication.


Theme: Un.bound.

Entries could be sent in Word and PDF formats. 

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National Poetry Recitation Competition Results

🎉 At the finals of the inaugural National Poetry Recitation Competition held at the National Library and The Arts House on 29 and 30 July 2023, our 44 finalists (out of more than 200 contestants) showcased their passion, dedication, and commitment to poetry recitation. 🗣 Ranging from lower primary students to retirees, our finalists shared their favourite poems out loud with confidence, besides explaining the various nuances of their texts during the Q&A segment with clarity and sensitivity. 💯


We’d like to thank all of our contestants for their enthusiastic participation in our competition, as well as all supporters and volunteers, for contributing to such a memorable experience for everyone involved. We’re also grateful to our judges (Prof Koh Tai Ann, A/P Angelia Poon, Dr Angus Whitehead, Mr Crispin Rodrigues) for their insightful questions to our finalists, and to our sponsors for their generous donation of prizes, which we’re honoured to name after them: the Prof Edwin Thumboo award (for the champions of each age category), the Prof Koh Tai Ann award (for the first runner-up), the Dr Oliver Seet award (for the second runner-up), and the Ms Shilpa D. Thapliyal awards and Dr Elizabeth Ow Yeong awards (for merit prizes). Congratulations to all our prize-winners! 🏆

Primary Category
1. Champion: Darius Yap Jit Wee (Mee Toh School)
2. First Runner-up: Aishwarya Saravanan (Hougang Primary School)
3. Second Runner-up: Seraphina Wong (Henry Park Primary School)

Secondary Category
1. Champion: Grace Abigail Liu (Clementi Town Secondary School)
2. First Runner-up: Patrick Nott Pei De (St. Joseph's Institution)
3. Second Runner-up: Roma Shasi Kumaar (Clementi Town Secondary School)

Open Category
1. Champion: Don Shiau
2. First Runner-up: Koh Tingjia (Hwa Chong Institution (College))
3. Second Runner-up: He Jingyi (Hwa Chong Institution (College))

Do continue to support other upcoming events by Poetry Festival Singapore! Join us in promoting the wonders of poetry — including through poetry memorisation and recitation — to cultivate a lifelong appreciation of language, as fellow sojourners of the imagination ✨

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In the News: Poetry Festival Singapore

Poetry Festival Singapore (PFS) is back — from 29 July to 6 August, there will be a whole series of online and in-person poetry readings, workshops, exhibitions, and panel discussions at The Arts House, National Library, and Bangladesh Centre. 

One highlight of the festival is the inaugural National Poetry Recitation Competition (NPRC), which comprises multiple language categories. In the English category, 44 finalists have been selected from more than 200 contestants to compete for certificates and cash prizes of up to $200 at the National Library and The Arts House on 29 and 30 July 2023.

As Associate Professor Angelia Poon (from the National Institute of Education) and a judge of the competition, observes: “Poetry memorisation and recitation can promote a deepened awareness and sensitivity towards language. By learning poems by heart, individuals can cultivate a lifelong appreciation of the manifold layers of meaning in verse.”

Join us as we rediscover the wonders of poetry — one of the world’s oldest living art forms —through the lost art of poetry memorisation and recitation 🗣 Check out

Thank you to The Straits Times for today’s article on PFS and NPRC!

Check out the full article at this link.

Get your tickets to attend all Poetry Festival Singapore events at

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National Poetry Recitation Competition 2023

Poetry Festival Singapore (PFS) is organising the inaugural National Poetry Recitation Competition (NPRC) in 2023. Celebrating poetry in all four national languages, this multilingual competition and showcase aims to promote the appreciation of poetry in the classroom and the community by encouraging students and the public in Singapore to learn poems by heart. Finalists will recite their selected poems in person during the finals on 29 and 30 July 2023 at the National Library and the Arts House.




The objectives of the competition and showcase are as follows:


  • To promote the appreciation of poetry in Singapore by learning poems by heart and reciting them aloud

  • To celebrate the diversity of poetry in all four of Singapore’s official languages

  • To provide an opportunity to hone oral communication skills through poetry recitation




  • The competition and showcase comprises four language categories: English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil.

  • Participants are permitted – and indeed encouraged – to participate in more than one language category if they would like to do so (e.g. English and Chinese / Malay / Tamil).

  • For the English and Chinese categories, NPRC involves a competitive format, with prizes presented – please refer to the rules and regulations of the respective language categories.

  • For the Malay and Tamil categories, NPRC involves a non-competitive format, and instead adopts the structure of an open-mic event, in which participants are invited to showcase their recitations without any evaluation of performances.


Click here for posters and visuals about the competition

Finals of the National Poetry Recitation Competition (English)

Secondary and Open Categories
Date / Time: 29 July 2023 (Sat), 6.30 – 8.30 p.m.
Venue: National Library Board (Bugis), Level 5 Possibility Room

Click here for the programme.

Primary Category
Date / Time: 30 July 2023 (Sun), 5.00 – 6.30 p.m.
Venue: The Arts House, Play Den

Click here for the programme.

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"Poetry by Heart: Harnessing the Power of Poetry Recitation"


Learning poems by heart offers multiple benefits for a happier and more fulfilling life —it can enhance oral communication skills and improve one's memory, besides honing deeper concentration and focus. Targeted at primary and secondary school students, this workshop  shared basic principles and strategies for poetry memorisation and recitation, including retrieval practice, learning by drawing, and embodied learning approaches. By all accounts, it was a fun and engaging hands-on experience for the whole family!

During this workshop, participants selected their favourite poems to learn by heart and practised techniques that they could use to learn and recite poems out loud. By activating the transformative power of recitation, participants had the opportunity to deepen their understanding of poetry, while developing a keener appreciation of voice, rhythm, tone, and articulation. In the process, participants enjoyed the process of connecting with their favourite poems, with one another, and with themselves.


Date/Time: 9 June 2023, Friday, 10AM–12PM or 2PM–4PM 
(participants selected either 1 of the 2 sessions)

Venue: National Library, The Pod,
100 Victoria Street, Level 16, Singapore 188064

About the Facilitator:

Ow Yeong Wai Kit  is an educator and editor of four poetry anthologies.

A recipient of the Outstanding Youth in Education Award by the Ministry of Education, he holds a master's degree in English from University College London, and has served as a judge of the National Poetry Competition (Singapore).

This workshop supported the inaugural National Poetry Recitation Competition (NPRC).

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The "Write and Burn!" Challenge 2023:
Sustainability and the Environment

WRITE AND BURN! is Poetry Festival Singapore's annual spoken word poetry challenge, open to all students aged 15-18! Join us at the finals of the competition - all are invited!

Click here to register and attend the finals of Write & Burn 2023 Finals. 

A workshop was also held at National Gallery Singapore for all participants and friends of "Write & Burn". Find out more about what happened behind the scenes and the takeaways of inspired participants here.

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Poetry Festival Singapore 2022

From 29 July to 10 August 2022, Poetry Festival Singapore (PFS) presented the 8th edition of its eponymous festival, centred around the theme of "Resurgence". This year’s festival combined in-person live-streams, film screenings, workshops, online poetry readings, and performances. 

Click here for a full list of programmes scheduled during Poetry Festival Singapore 2022. 

Click here to view the programme videos from Poetry Festival Singapore 2022.

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The "Write and Burn!" Challenge 2022

WRITE AND BURN! is Poetry Festival Singapore's annual spoken word poetry challenge, open to all students aged 15-18! Come let your words take flight and stand to win attractive prizes as well!

Click here for more details.

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CATHARSIS 2022 Open Call

Hosted by Low Kian Seh


“But tragedy always has a glorious thing happen at the end of it. That's what the catharsis is.” This phrase sums up what the word “catharsis” means to Derek Walcott.


What does catharsis mean to you? If you have a poem on the theme 'Catharsis', send it to us and be part of our Catharsis poetry open call! We want to read your works!


The best submissions may be featured on Instagram and those with the most likes will be performed on July 30, 2022 at LASALLE College of the Arts.


Deadline for submission: 31 May 2022 

View a full list of finalists name here.



- Only English-language poems are accepted at this point.

- Between minimum 8 and maximum 40 lines

- Open to all in Singapore (even non-citizens and non-PRs)

- You may submit 1 to 2 entries



Catharsis was created by Elijah Chai. 

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Poetry Festival Singapore 2021

From 30 July to 8 August 2021, Poetry Festival Singapore (PFS) will be presenting the 7th edition of its eponymous festival, centred around the theme of "Community". This year’s festival will combine in-person live-streams, film screenings, workshops, online poetry readings, and performances. 

Click here for more details.

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The 3rd Singapore Literature Conference

The Singapore Literature Conference is back for its third installment, centred around the theme of “Community".

The conference explores the theme in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and drama about Singapore from a wide range of perspectives and disciplines.

The sessions will be on the following sub-themes:

  1. community and ethics,

  2. literature and the community,

  3. teaching literature; and

  4. community building on social media.

Click here for more details.

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School Poetry Workshop Bookings

From workshops to poetry readings, learning about spoken word poetry, to melding calligraphy with the written word, we hope these poetry-centric activities will be able to present Literature in a different, more interesting perspective.


Intrigued? Click here to book a workshop!

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