Stirring students to speak to history

South Australia’s History Festival Poetry Takeover Challenge gives young people a voice in museum spaces by encouraging them to interpret collections in new and creative ways.

Now in its third year, the Poetry Takeover invites young people to take inspiration from the collections that the History Trust and other museums and galleries hold on behalf of the state of South Australia. We encourage you to engage with objects, think creatively, connect those thoughts to the theme ‘REIMAGINE’ and then develop a poem of any kind.

  • What does local history mean to you?
  • Why are objects important and why should we care?
  • Why would a museum have that particular object on display
  • What’s the story?

The Poetry Takeover Challenge is open to all students in Years 4 through 10 across South Australia. Parents, caregivers and/or teachers can provide support. The poems must be inspired by museum objects discovered by visiting and exploring museums and galleries across South Australia or by the collections linked on this site.

Participants can create poems in any form: haiku, free verse, limerick, sonnet or slam, either written or recorded. Whatever form is most interesting to you.

Submit your poem in writing, or as an audio or video file, along with a picture of the object that inspired you. The History Trust will share the poems on our Poetry Gallery page and on the History Festival Facebook and History Trust Instagram account. Be sure to tell your family and friends to read your poem online and get in on the People’s Choice voting later in May.

Check out the 2022 Challenge page for important dates and all the rules.

Special Thanks

The Poetry Takeover Challenge is proudly supported by SA Power Networks.

SA Power Networks | Empowering South Australia

Matilda Bookshop | Stirling, SA

Many thanks to prize sponsor Matilda Bookshop of Stirling, SA. Proudly independent and catering for readers in the Adelaide Hills and beyond for nearly 40 years.

Wakefield Press | Adelaide, SA

Many thanks to prize sponsor Wakefield Press, a leading independent publishing company based in Adelaide, SA. Wakefield’s motto is, ‘We love good stories and publish beautiful books’; they’ve been doing just that for more than 30 years.

We would also like to express our gratitude for the generosity of our sponsors and partners who have helped to make the Poetry Takeover a reality. Thank you!

John Gardner MP, Minister for Education
Children’s University