Birrong Boys' High School, collaboration with WestWords, NSW
The Disappearing, 2012
Birrong Boys' High School boasts a very strong emphasis on working cooperatively with the local community to support others. Students are encouraged to strive towards the ideal of the school motto “From Each His Best”.
WestWords engages children and young people in Greater Western Sydney by encouraging an appreciation of story and storymaking in a variety of forms and by promoting the understanding of the importance of books in the lives of young people.
Year 7 students at Birrong Boys’ High School were given the opportunity to participate in poetry composing workshops presented in partnership with The Red Room Company and Westwords, the Western Sydney Young People’s Literature Project. The workshops also engaged with The Disappearing, a new free app that geo-locates poetry to place.
Participants completed quick writes, group poems and explored a range of poetic forms such as guerilla poetry. These workshops challenge traditional expectations of poetry as students explore their relationship with public places. Poet in residence Candy Royalle gave a spoken word performance and assisted students to compose their own spoken word poems.
As part of the worksop, Candy was also commissioned to produce a new poem, titled 'Boy', in response to her time at Birrong Boys'. A selection of student poems and images will be published in a reclaimed area of the school to be known as Poetry Alley.
Vale Candy Royalle - celebrating the poet, warrior, artist
Each thread is its own story
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.