From the various different methods available, more and more people are expressing themselves and their views about society and this world through spoken word poetry. Defined as poetry intended for a stage performance, spoken word poetry has strong ties to storytelling, post-modern performance and monologue theatre. The summer gone by saw Prashuma Rai become one of the five winners of QC Awards 2017 : Youth Poetry Slam, a slam poetry contest organised by Quixote’s Cove in collaboration with the Word Warriors. Selected from more than 150 applicants, Rai competed alongside twenty finalists at the event that was held at the Nepal Tourism Board at the end of July.
One of the two poems by Prashuma who is known by the penname Deshmaya comically discusses ‘pet’ (stomach in Nepali). When asked where the idea came from, Prashuma replied “People that we see every day… from the ageing security guards that line the doors of the bank to those rickshaw drivers who wait for passengers in the heat. Everyone’s working for their ‘pet’, no matter how much the world progresses, we are still working day and night to ensure that our ‘pet’ is full. The aspiring poet mentions the competitive nature during the contest but also shares that hers was the only poem in Nepali to win. PET also became the highest scoring poem during the first round. Rai’s observation and lived experience of the time spent at the chiya pasal, the conversations exchanged to those that we discreetly ignore everyday make the basis of another poem. She gives credit where due to the workshop for helping her polish herself and her poems.