Lucas Serei aka Pilgrim, earned himself a much-deserved spot in the 2013 Word N Sound Open Mic Poetry League Top 5. He is nominated for a Best Newcomer Award.
What has been your biggest learning curve in the competition with regards to your writing or performances?
My biggest learning curve from the Word N Sound Open Mic Poetry League experience is that poetry is viewed differently in different environments. I got to learn that my writing style needed to change in order to accommodate my true identity. I have also discovered that my performance still needs some form of modification and also to find better mediums to present my poetry, as poetry evolves every day.
If you could change anything about the slam what would it be?
I think the judging system should be changed. Poetry is subjective; perhaps include someone in the judging panel who is not familiar with one of the performers on a personal level so as to reduce biasness.
What about your poetry do you think sets you apart from the next poet?
My poems define me as a person. I don’t talk a lot but if you want to know parts of me that are hidden and how I live my life, you will find them in my poems. My poems are my true experiences. I don’t write a lot of fiction anymore which also clearly proves the reflection of my life in my poems. Looking at, for instance, the last poem I performed at the Festival, it revealed a lot about me on a deeper personal level.
What does the Best Newcomer Nomination mean to you?
I had a goal to achieve and it was that people should hear about my story and if I win, it will mean people heard and could relate to my experiences.
Should you win the Best Newcomer Title, do you think it will place more
or lesser pressure on you to do well in this year’s Open Mic Poetry
Winning, according to me, will place less pressure on me. I don’t like pressuring my poems or anything because I believe it taints the quality of my work. I don’t like forcing poetry because of an important accolade or social status but that doesn’t mean I won’t be consistent and work to evolve my work.
Who were your three favourite poets of 2013 and why?
No Life, Kagiso Tshepe and Roach. I think their poetry is beautifully written. I can’t take that away from them, and they also deserve winning something for their hard work and persistence.