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All student poems

The School

Marrickville High School reflects the vibrant, multi-faceted nature of the Marrickville community. The school community is multicultural in nature but dedicated to one aim- maximising student achievement through the delivery of quality comprehensive education for all. 

The school staff is dedicated to improving the outcomes of the students in their charge through ongoing individual professional learning plans. Their priorities align with school and faculty plans that reflect the goals of the school as determined by a dynamic process of consultation between staff, students and parents.

This three way partnership is built on the foundation of strong community connections and co-operation with our feeder schools that ensures students make a seamless transition to high school. When students leave school, our best practice careers program, our partnerships with The University of Sydney through the Compass program and UNSW through the Aspire program, and our links with the major Sydney TAFE colleges developed through integrated TAFE programs ensures they have the best possible start to tertiary education and their career pathway.

The Project

Poetry has nestled into the nooks of the Marrickville High School library. A cabinet of Haiku Stones sits on the wall, Poet Army Dudes hide amongst the resting books and Notice Poems point out small, quirky characteristics of the space.

A cardboard city sprawls across the wall near the entrance, each one decorated with a line that details what ‘Home Is…’ to the students.

Collage poems and Erasure poems are amongst the copies of Anthology 2.0, their self-funded publication of the students’ poems launched in a special event at the school. After perusing the various poems and wandering through the library, spotting remnants of workshops past, the launch was opened with speeches from Angela Rega, the dedicated Teacher/Librarian who has made Marrickville's relationship with our program so rich and inspiring. Words from Dr Tamryn Bennett, Red Room’s Education Manager, were followed by students’ performances of their work.  The support from their teachers and fellow classmates was a truly incredible element of the experience, with applause and supportive catcalls spurring them on.Candy Royalle, Marrickville's poet in residence, also shared her experiences of working with the students and ended with an astounding performance. Candy also composed a poem for the school, ‘Home.’, available on the Red Room website (or view above in playlist).

A special thank you goes to  The Hon. Carmel Tebbutt, BEc MP for her support of Marrickville High School and our education program. 

The launch event was an incredible testament to the rewards of the program and we thank Angie for her continued support and relationship with Red Room Education.

Click through to view the Inner West Courier article on Marrickville High School's poetry workshops.

Read Year 9's Collaborative Group Poem.
Peruse Year 10's Collaborative Group Poem.

Check out the student's collage poems.
Read the Erasure Poems they created from newspaper articles. 
Look through the Erasure Poems they created from the novel 'Blow Up A Storm', by Allen Watkins.

The Poet

Candy Royalle

Vale Candy Royalle - celebrating the poet, warrior, artist


Each thread is its own story
everything woven
is first a lonely particle
— Candy Royalle, ‘Threading Battle Lines


A Trillion Tiny Awakenings

Esteemed poet and activist Candy Royalle was our 2018 Fellow. She performed with RR’s Poetic Threads: Lady and the Unicorn exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW weeks before her untimely passing. Red Room Poetry, along with Candy’s family and friends created a film capturing her enduring personal and poetic legacy. 

Purchase Candy’s book, A Trillion Tiny Awakenings (AU$22.99) from UWA Publishing.

 Film by Craig Holbrook 


Candy Royalle is an award winning performing writing, performance artist, poet, storyteller, activist, educator and vulnerability advocate who fuses cinematic storytelling, poetry and unique vocal rhythms with confronting, political and heart thumping content seeking to break open closed hearts. She has performed alongside many of the greats including Kate Tempest, Ursula Rucker (who said “Candy Royalle is all at once fragile, powerful, raw, sensitive, beautiful, unflinching and honest. She, her spirit and her work, will change you”), David Malouf, Shane Koyczan, Mark Tredinnick, Sarah & Phil Kay, Rives and Anis Mojgani to name a few. A festival curator described Royalle as “an act you remember for years” and the Austin International Poetry Festival Chair stated Candy had “...changed the face of poetry in Austin, forever”. Few who see her can forget her intensity, her combustible blend of intellect, imagination and heart.

Candy Royalle has expanded across artistic boundaries engaging in mixed art forms and exploring those forms with various forms of writing. Most recent collaborations include feature film “SLAM” working with award winning director Partho Sen-Gupto to develop poetry for the characters in the film; music video “Killing Us Softly” with director Emilie Morgane B., which was selected for multiple festivals including Saatchi Cannes Lion, Le Femme Underground LA and Austin Music Video Festival and many others; visual arts exhibition “Cedars” weaving poetry into sculptures with artist Annee Miron for AirPlay Gallery; and a dance piece for the Keir Choreography Awards with well known choreographer Paea Leach where they explored the relationship between words, movement and space to critical acclaim; Candy’s latest album “Birthing the Sky Birthing the Sea” was a collaboration with the band The Freed Radicals where their musical explorations blurred the lines of rock and roll, funk, experimental soundscapes and hip hop supporting Candy’s own vocal experimentations of fusing poetry with song.

Her solo work has included two published collections “Love Spectacular” and “Heartbeats” which received excellent reviews with one reviewer stating: “there are some exquisite lines in this book...I am impressed by the scope of Royalle’s artistic vision.” Her solo tours have taken her across Australia and world.

Her 2015 international tour “The Butch Priestess Tour” took in 20 cities across the UK and parts of Canada and the US with the Wales Arts Review stating Royalle delivered an “energetic, assured and startling performance. Royalle engaged and enthralled… This is the best live performance…I’ve heard in years”. Other tours have included feature performances, talks and readings at The Sydney Writers Festival, The Stella Awards, The Austin International Poetry Festival, The Latitudes Festival in Toronto and The National Folk Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, Seven Sisters Festival Victoria to name a very small few.

Accolades include selection for the 2017 City of Sydney Annual Residency Program, being awarded the “Big Picture Award 2015” for her award winning piece “Memories” at the “Outside the Frame” film festival in San Francisco, the 2014 Marten Bequest Traveling Scholarship for poetry, a highly commended award for the Queensland Poetry Film Makers Challenge in 2013, winner of the World Performance Poetry Cup as well as the AIPF Excellence in Poetry Award in both 2012 and 2013. She has won numerous competitions and has been nominated and highly commended for a number of awards.

Her poetry and opinion pieces have been published and featured both in publications and online including Fairfax, SBS, Overland Literary Magazine, Mascara Literary Review, Peril Magazine, Australian Love Poems, RN’s Poetica, AIPF’s Diversity anthology, “Butch is Not a Dirty Word” magazine and many more.

Royalle’s work has been covered in all major media outlets including the ABC, Fairfax, News Limited, CNN, Sky, BBC and a host of local and street press.

Candy also delivers key note speeches and talks most recently for the Stella Prize, Amnesty International’s youth conference and others.

She creates and facilitates workshops and masterclasses for both young people and adults, exploring the relationship between vulnerability and creation, what the ethical obligations of artists might be and how activism can be achieved through art. Information on these workshops can be provided upon request.

For more information or media enquiries please contact or visit