Thomas Acers is a talented rugby league player but his parents “worried’’ about his lack of interest in school work.
The Acers were surprised then to learn their eight-year-old son had entered a free national poetry competition.
Surprise turned to jubilation when the Shell Cove Public School student’s poem ‘Totem Cup’ was highly commended and included in the Red Room Poetry Object exhibition.
Thomas and his parents were at The Gallery @ Big Fat Smile in Corrimal on Thursday when The Red Room Company artistic director Tamryn Bennett officially launched the exhibition.
“We didn’t know Thomas had this creative side. We thought he was having us on. Today is a great day,’’ Ryan Acers said.
Dr Bennett added that over 3000 students and teachers from around the country had entered the poetry competition.
All poems submitted to the Poetry Object competition are published in the Poetry Object Library.
An exhibition of winning and commended poems will be on display at the Big Fat Smile Gallery until December 12.
“People are invited to come in, interact, read the poems and celebrate other Illawarra-based poets because there is a special branch of their poems. There is also interactive activities,’’ Dr Bennett said.
“This [exhibition] is another way to engage people with literature and literacy, especially for young children.’’
Big Fat Smile chief creative officer Jennine Primmer said it was pleasing The Red Room Company had chosen to have their exhibition at the Corrimal gallery.
“We already have a partnership because our two organisations have a similar philosophy in terms of creative education for kids,’’Ms Primmer said.
“On their side it is professional writers and poets with children and on our side it is visual artists and musicians with children.’’
Excerpts of winning and highly commended works from the poetry competition will feature on trains throughout the Transport NSW network and regionally in REX in-flight magazines.