Winner of the Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup: ‘Rapunzel’

I was thrilled to win the 2018 Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup with this piece. As a first time entrant in this long-running competition, I planned to come back year after year, slowly building up my skills. I never dreamed I’d be walking out with this big shiny cup!

31-Gail M Clarke with Peoples Choice Award winner Zac Simmons and 2018 cup winner Sarah Temporal
Left to right: People’s Choice winner Zac Simmons, Organiser Gail M. Clarke, and winner Sarah Temporal at 2018 Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup. Photo credit Marie T Cameron.

Nimbin World Cup is the largest prize for performance poetry in Australia, with over $5000 in prizes awarded to poets. The funds are raised entirely by the town of Nimbin, making it totally independent and one of the biggest-hearted events you’re ever likely to see. Please check it out, and put it in your diary: First weekend in September every year in the beautiful town of Nimbin NSW.

My version of ‘Rapunzel’ has a long and tangled background. Even before I wrote it for the Vagina Conversations in Byron Bay earlier this year, I had been obsessed with the image of the girl trapped in the tower. You can read more about what to do with an idea that just hangs around like that. Or look into my process of reviving ‘Rapunzel’ for women of our time.

I’ve had the most wonderful conversations with women and men after performing ‘Rapunzel’. It always moves me to hear how they have connected with the story, and how they are also re-thinking the grand narratives that describe and shape our lives. Performing this piece now makes me feel I’m carrying all these stories with me; the poem is very full. If you’re one of those who have shared and supported this piece, thank you.

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