The University of Saint Joseph Macao Hosts "The 3rd Macao-wide English Poetry Writing and Recital Contest"





The University of Saint Joseph held “The 3rd Macao-wide English Poetry Writing and Recital Contest”. This year’s theme was “Macao, The Garden of Life” and attracted over 500 submissions from 30 schools and universities.

The University of Saint Joseph Macao (USJ) has organised “The 3rd Macao-wide English Poetry Writing and Recital Contest” with success. The final round of the contest and awarding ceremony was held on Saturday, 25th of May, 2024, in the Auditório Centenário de Fátima of USJ’s Ilha Verde Campus. The event was sponsored by ETS TOEFL and Smart Education Co. Ltd.

The Macao-wide competition aims to promote English literacy and creativity among local youth through poetry. It is open to all public and private primary, secondary and tertiary students in the region.

With this year’s theme set as “Macao, The Garden of Life”, USJ received over 500 submissions from 30 schools and universities, of which 46 original poems were selected for the recitation contest, including 16 in the primary school category, 15 in the secondary category and 15 in the University category. All the poems pivoted around the topics of “Beauty in the eye of the beholder”, “Wisdom of the ages”, and “Emotions running over”.

Participants had to memorise and recite their work to a carefully selected panel of judges. A total of 9 cash prizes worth $19,000 patacas were awarded to the winner, first runner-up and second runner-up in each category.

The panel of judges consisted of Professor Keith Morrison, Vice-rector for Research of the University of Saint Joseph (USJ), Mr. Douglas Philips Jeremy, Lecturer of the Macao University of Tourism (UTM), Mr. Joshua Lee, Lecturer at the he Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Macau (UM), Ms. Laurinda Pereira, Lecturer at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of City University of Macau, Ms. Dodo Gao, Published Macao Poet and Senior Lecturer at the English Language Centre of the University of Saint Joseph (USJ), Prof. Wesley McLaughlin, Assistant Lecturer of Centre for Applied English Studies of The University of Hong Kong (HKU), Mr. Andrew Murphy, Senior Lecturer of English Language Centre of the University of Saint Joseph (USJ), and Dr. Alexandre Lebel, Winner of the 2nd Macao-wide English Poetry Writing and Recital Contest University Category.

Present at the awarding ceremony were Ms. Tam Sio Wa, Head of Division of Tertiary Educational Cooperation and Exchange of the Education and Youth Department Bureau (DSEDJ), and Dr. Teresa Loong, Vice-rector for Student Affairs of USJ.

All the submitted written works were evaluated based on their relevance, creativity and originality, coherence of form and structure, and clarity of imagery and language. Lastly, the finalists were evaluated based on stage presence and presentation, poise and spontaneity of recitation, intonation and poetic expression, and clarity of spoken words and diction during the recitation contest.

On his speech, Vice-Rector of USJ Professor Keith Morrison expressed his admiration for the contestants. “What courage we have seen here today, and what wonderful, original poems we have heard. (…) The contestants have given us their ideas and words of all kinds; they sparkle. Here we have had our contestants of many ages reaching out to new ideas, imagining things, being creative, and reaching out to us as well, and taking us out of, and beyond, our mundane, everyday lives. They have created and given us something personal in their carefully chosen words, written and spoken.”

Director of the English Center of USJ Professor Duncan Miers commented on the improvement of the quality of the written poetry for this year’s contest. “The judges of this years’ poetry contest were looking for recitations that would compel them to give their attention and show them an interpretation of the topic in an original and convincing way that would draw them into your worlds. Overall, there has been a notable improvement in the compositions of the poems across the board this year, with some outstanding examples among them. It is clear that this year’s main theme: ‘The garden of life’ has evoked a diverse range of collective memories for the contestants. Who have been willing to experiment not only with words but literary features beyond simply rhyming. We commend you for this.”

The theme for next year’s contest will be “Mini me in a wide wide world”, with sub-categories to be revealed in due course.

The winners of “The 3rd Macao-wide English Poetry Writing and Recital Contest” are:

Elementary Category

  • Champion: Chan Wan U, Santa Rosa de Lima (English Section)
  • First Runner-Up: Noh Young Kyo, Hou Kong Middle School
  • Second Runner-Up: Chio Ian Wun Hannah, Colégio Diocesano de São José 5

Secondary Category

  • Champion: Callanta, Kristel Shane Suclatan, Colégio Diocesano de São José 6
  • First Runner-Up: Vera Win Naygye Maung, Sacred Heart Canossian College (English Section)
  • Second Runner-Up: Chan Ay-Drial, Premier School Affiliated to Hou Kong Middle School

University Category

  • Champion: Alidoro Cabongo da Silva Chenda, University of Saint Joseph
  • First Runner-Up: Zhang HongYun, Macau Polytech University
  • Second Runner-Up: Maria Clara dos Santos Queiroz, University of Saint Joseph

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Elementary Category


Secondary Category

University Category