CIRCLE OF LIFE Inner Circle launches poetry competition


CIRCLE OF LIFE Inner Circle launches poetry competition

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Monday, May 04, 2020

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MORE than 100 entries have been submitted for Poem For Life, a contest initiated by Ian Lewis of the Inner Circle band and his son Abebe.

Submissions opened April 27 and closes May 18 when the Top 10 poems—inspired by the coronavirus pandemic—will be selected by a social media panel.

The winning entry, which will be introduced at a yet-announced date, will be recorded as a song by Inner Circle.

Abebe Lewis told the Jamaica Observer that to date, entries have been received through audio and video to from the United States, Jamaica, South America, Germany and Nigeria.

His father has feverishly followed the course of the coronavirus since January, before many governments began taking it seriously. Poem For Life, the older Lewis stressed, is more than a contest; it is a gauge of how people feel, or are dealing with, one of the most devastating pandemics in history.

“Is a dark time in di world an' wi thought it would be a good idea to hear how people feel about it through poetry. Di response has been great so far,” he said.

According to the World Health Organization, as of May 2 the coronavirus has caused over 236,000 deaths internationally.

Lewis is bass guitarist for Inner Circle which he and his older brother Roger, a guitarist, started in 1968 while students at Jamaica College. They came to prominence during the 1970s with singer Jacob Miller on songs like Tenement Yard, Forward Ever Backward Never and Standing Firm.

After Miller's death in a auto accident in March 1980 at age 27, the brothers moved to South Florida. In the early 1990s, Inner Circle scored two massive hit songs with Bad Boys and Sweat.

They won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album with Bad Boys in 1994.

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