‘Rhyme and Punishment’ takes poetic licence

Cultural Fund

Australian poetry warriors, Poetry in Action, have developed a new touring show for school students with funding from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

Called Rhyme and Punishment, it is a newly commissioned work from Sydney playwright and actor Sam O’Sullivan and is performed by Eleni Cassimatis, Hannah Wood and Brenton Bell.

The show’s premise explores what happens when Calliope, an ancient Greek muse responsible for inspiring some of the greatest minds in history, develops an unhealthy addiction to her smartphone.

Featuring the work of a range of poets including: Kate Tempest, Dr Seuss, Banjo Paterson, Emily Dickinson and W.B. Yeats, the play is infused with comedy, at the same time teaching basic poetic concepts. Teacher’s receive Educators Packs about the performance so they can further the work in the classroom.

It will tour high schools around Australia kicking off this month and is specifically written for the Year 7-8 audience. Bookings are still available.

Poetry In Action has developed and delivered four new shows nationwide for the past 12 years, showcasing international and Australian poetry to an exponentially growing audience of over 85,000 secondary students across Australia and New Zealand.

Poetry in Action is also holding a season launch and fundraiser in Sydney on 21 March. To find out more, visit PIA’s Facebook page.

More for poetry lovers

The Copyright Agency, Sydney University and the ARC also support the Australian Poetry Library, which features tens of thousands of poems from hundreds of Australian poets, all free for you to view.

The Cultural Fund recently supported the following poetry-related projects:

  • The Australian Poets Festival, run by Australian Poetry ($22,000), curates and presents poetry events at the major capital city and emerging literary festivals in all states and territories over 2018-2019 with the new works commissioned also published in AP’s biannual Australian Poetry Journal.
  • Plumwood Mountain: An Australian Journal of Eco-Poetry and Eco Poetics ($5000). Plumwood Mountain journal specialises in ecopoetry, publishing two issues per annum showcasing the work of Australian poets and ecocritical thinkers. Forthcoming issues are edited by: Bonny Cassidy (August 2018), Jill Jones (February 2019), Anne Elvey (poetry) and Franca Bellarsi (criticism) (August 2019), John Ryan (February 2020), Jonathan Skinner (August 2020).
  • Queensland Poetry Festival, August 2019 ($10,000). The Listen In Reading Series comprises three events in which emerging and established Australian poets are provided with a paid opportunity to bring their work to the audience of one of Australia’s largest and most prestigious poetry festival.
  • Red Room Poetry’s Poetry Object Prize and Cross-Curricular Outreach ($38,000 over three years). Red Room Poetry Objectis Australasia’s largest free poetry-writing competition for young people, with over $10,000 in prizes to be won! Poetry Object ignites imaginations by inviting young writers (years 3-10) and their teachers to create poems inspired by treasured, curious or talismanic objects. Alongside the competition, Red Room publishes curriculum-aligned learning resources and commissions professional poets to create new poems and deliver workshops.
  • State Library of Queensland, Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a poetry collection, as part of the Queensland Literary Awards offered in 2019 ($10,000 prize money annually for 3 years). The Judith Wright Calanthe award is a national award for a poetry collection by a single author.
  • Sydney Story Factory ($30,000). Last year, 20 Western Sydney teenagers from diverse backgrounds were supported to find their voice by writing, polishing and publishing a collection of original poetry.

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