Due to unprecedented times it was decided that poetrybysheena will roll out Poem:99, an annual poetry competition sooner rather than its usual time in July. There will be many parent’s unsure what to do with their children due to schools being closed because of Covid-19. Well, here is one way to keep your kiddies occupied and to ensure their little minds are nurtured despite the tough and testing times we all face. Like my strap line says, together we are the best educator! 

Poem:99 has officially gone LIVE as of today and everything you need to know about the competition can be found under the tab, Poem:99. As you will notice this year’s theme is “blessings”, very poignant due to the circumstances that we find ourselves in. We have many things to be grateful for and the judges and I, can’t wait to hear how you interpret this year’s theme. All entries must be emailed to sheena4076@live.com.

So let’s do this, are you ready? Let’s meet the Judges. I am proud to say that this year our trio is a fantastic line up of both established and new emerging poets. I shall introduce them in turn:


Mo Rahman:

Mo’s writing reflects current themes about life, social issues, love, passion and spirituality. Her heritage and her south Asian roots are a big factor in how she identifies with life. The environment, places she has visited, and world issues inspire her. These inform her choices on how she translates what she has experienced and expresses them into words or Art. She has recently come back into writing Poetry as she was a closet Poet— very private but now she is more comfortable in reading her work publically. She like to experiment and currently exploring mixing her poetry with sound, music and other languages. For Mo this is another avenue to explore and be creative with.

She is also a trained Reiki practitioner and Spiritual Artist, drawing, painting, designing an eclectic range of inspired Spiritual Artworks, in which she has devised and developed a range of workshops exploring movement, meditation and art.

Mo is hoping the entrants of Poem:99  are not shy of entering and states  that “ we’re all different and different is good. If we were all the same, the world would be a boring place”

Mo is really pleased about associating with Poem:99 “ I’ve always wrote about Spirituality, I never felt there was a platform for my type of poetry. It’s good to inspire the next generation about faith, community and expectations.  I am very pleased to be involved with judging Poem:99  this year.” 

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez:

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Events Consultant and MC

He has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over six years in a row (2013,2014 ,2015, 2016 and 2017 and 2018 ).

The annual events he has organised at the UK House of Parliament over the last several years has attracted the attendance of Members of Parliament for Labour, Conservative and The SNP, as well as Councillors, Community leaders and Role models from at least 21 Nationalities.   Tony has a flair for bringing people together from different cultural backgrounds to celebrate their stories and connect collectively.

People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities and bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events involving both BME and mainstream communities

Tony is overjoyed that he will be able to participate with a community grassroots initiative such as Poem:99, and can’t wait to get stuck into reading your entries.

Tahira Rehman :

Tahira Rehman is a Performance-Poet and an Outreach support worker in Leeds. She has made a big name for herself in 2019 with headline performances at long-running nights such as Spoken Weird and Punk in Drublic this year. Her poetry has been published in the US by Our Verse Magazine, in Canada by ‘ofpoetsandfrenchman’ and locally by Make Our Rights Reality Charity.

She has headlined at various spoken word events including folk music festivals. She is also the author of Mirages to Reality published in April 2019.

“Tahira Rehman is a vibrant and vital addition to the scene. Her poetry has that unique combination of being timeless and fiercely contemporary. ” – Matt Abbott

“A uniquely styled performance that was atmospheric and powerfully thought provoking!” – Blur The Lines | Leeds Playhouse

“She captivated the whole audience, she was so amazing.” –  Spoken Weird

Tahira is a busy performance-poet and has given up her time to join Poem:99 this year, she is super excited to be judging and looking forward to reading the entries.

Well, thank you to our lovely judges! I hope their individual introductions have excited you all; it’s over to you guys now, really looking forward to reading your entries.

If there is anything you are not sure about, rules, entry form or anything else, email me at sheena4076@live.comor call 07935177562, I will be happy to assist you (always obtain permission from your parents/guardians before you make contact via email/telephone).

Finally, a massive thank you from me personally to my kind sponsors, you have all made Poem:99 2020 possible given the tide of trial and uncertainty we all face, love and respect to you all.

Thank you for reading!

Poetess Sheena 


Poem:99 2020


Instagram: poetrybysheena


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