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



Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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