Poet & performer Candy Royalle wins 2018 Red Room Poetry Fellowship


This fellowship isn’t just for me – it’s for all of us striving to share our stories, in our own voices.”

             ~ Candy Royalle

Red Room Poetry celebrates Candy Royalle, internationally acclaimed poet and performer, as the recipient of the 2018 Red Room Poetry Fellowship.

The prestigious prize supports an intensive period of Creative Development with $10,000 worth of commissions, a residency and paid professional employment.


Candy’s proposal promised an impact for her own poetic trajectory as well as the delivery of meaningful opportunities for diverse communities. This award will contribute to Candy's latest manuscript and accompanying cinepoetry short films. The Fellowship will help support her collaborative community building initiatives (including the recently re-launched Word in Hand open mic), while enhancing her professional development in bridging performance and page. Candy's objectives were extremely well expressed, offered significant outcomes for poetry community beyond her personal projects, and was backed by her bolshie philosophical approach – “Poetry is Power”. Candy’s strong belief that poetry can provide a platform for silenced voices so that everyone can tell their stories in ways that are both cathartic and creatively valid, won us over.

              ~ Judging notes from the 2018 Red Room Poetry Fellowship


Red Room Poetry established the Fellowship in 2017 to foster the poetic and professional development of an individual within the wider poetic community and to encourage poets to undertake an intensive period of creative development. Ali Cobby Eckermann was the inaugural Red Room Fellow.


Being shortlisted for the Red Room Poetry Fellowship felt such a coup and I felt proud to be listed amongst such a group of high-calibre artists. It feels like a huge affirmation of all I have been trying to achieve throughout my career – not just as an individual writer on their own creative journey but as a member of a diverse community, striving to be heard above the dominant din. This Fellowship isn’t just for me - it’s for all of us striving to share our stories, in our own voices. I am grateful the judging panel understood what it is I am trying to achieve and what an impact this Fellowship will have both on my personal work, and as a platform for me to support a vibrant and diverse community which is coming into its own right now.

               ~ Candy Royalle, recipient of the 2018 Red Room Poetry Fellowship


Candy was chosen from a shortlist of 11 poets including Zenobia Frost, Scott-Patrick Mitchell, Omar Sakr, Jill Jones, LK Holt, Michael Farrell, Jeanine Leane, Graeme Miles, Emilie Zoey Baker, and Maria Takolander.

Red Room Poetry will also be awarding commissions to the other 10 shortlisted poets.

This Fellowship is made possible through the support of generous individuals.

Become a Red Room Poetry supporter


Candy Royalle is an award-winning performance writer and artist, poet, activist, educator and vulnerability advocate. Her provoking performances fuse cinematic storytelling poetry and unique vocal rhythms to explore what makes us human. Candy has performed alongside writers such as David Malouf and Mark Tredinnick, and has been published in Overland, Australian Love Poems, RN’s Poetica, among others. She is currently working on her third collection of poetry, A trillion tiny awakenings. Read more »

Candy will feature at Poetic Threads: The lady and the unicorn at the Art Gallery of NSW during the Sydney Writers’ Festival alongside Scotty Wings and Mirrah.