The project

The Red Room Company launched the Unlocked project in 2010 with the support of the Thyne Reid Foundation. In 2011, we received support from Arts NSW to take the project to other centres, and the first of these was Silverwater Correctional Centre. The workshops were run by Sydney poet Gareth Jenkins, and The Red Room Company’s Artistic Director, Johanna Featherstone. Working closely with the inspirational teachers at the centre, we have found that the students relish the opportunity to express themselves through a new medium. One of the focuses of the workshops is to break the common preconceptions that people have about poetry. One of the ways that we do this is by compiling a poetry reader of almost 100 poems, from a range of styles, eras and cultures. The students have shown an incredible appetite for this reader, and the poems that speak to them always surprise.

The workshops

Ongoing mentorship is central to the program, and throughout the workshops, students have been able to share their work with facilitators, and receive feedback. What is most remarkable perhaps is the way the students have come to support each other, creating a nurturing environment for their creative development. This led to the creation of an ongoing open poetry club called 'Green Dawn'.

The poems

We hope that readers of this anthology, whether they are friends and family of the poets, or general readers of poetry, enjoy the book. It speaks clearly to the experience of being inside, but also, in many of the poems, there is a look toward the future, to being back with their families, to sorting things out.

The Red Room Company creates, promotes and publishes new poetry by Australian writers in unusual ways. Through language, we reawaken imaginations, inviting established and emerging poets as well as new audiences with us on this adventure.

Poetry is alchemy; it transforms us.

  

To purchase publications and materials from this project visit our online store! The Red Room Company is a not-for-profit organisation and all funds raised support the ongoing work of The Red Room Company.