Sheryl Perrson: portrait


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Book jacket: Scarcely Random: collected poems Book jacket: Smallpox, Syphillis & Salvation: Medical Breakthroughs that changed the World Book jacket: The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia


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© Sheryl Persson 2014

   ABN: 69 780 799 883

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SHERYL PERSSON — Poet, Writer, Educator

Poet: Sheryl Persson’s poems, children’s poems, short stories and articles have been published widely in literary journals, e-zines, anthologies and educational publications in Australia, New Zealand and abroad.

As Poet Laureate of Auburn, NSW, July-December 2011: Sheryl worked with Auburn Community Development Network (ACDN), a position funded by Arts NSW. She lyrically mapped the social and cultural life of Auburn through poetry and creative writing, visiting schools, businesses, community agencies and iconic monuments and spaces around Auburn to develop a body of new work that speaks to the cultural and linguistic diversity of Auburn communities. Key to her work was the engagement of young people with low levels of language and literacy to develop confidence in creative expression.

Public performance: Sheryl has been a featured poet at festivals and readings. She is a member of the Walter Street Poets and DiVerse, a group of poets who write ‘ekphrasis’ — transcribing visual art into poetry. DiVerse performs at galleries such as the National Gallery, the Art Gallery of NSW and regularly features at the S H Ervin Gallery. DiVerse performs at the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

DiVerse at the Sydney Opera House

Utzon's Opera House Exhibition S H Ervin Gallery — January 2014: celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Opera House. DiVerse read poetry written on works in the exhibition, performing with artists, Reg Mombassa and Mika Utzon-Popov, Jørn Utzon's grandson.

Writer: Books

Scarcely Random, a collection of Sheryl's poems, was published by Ginninderra Press in 2007. Les Murray says that in her work, Sheryl Persson makes 'fine discoveries', describing her poetry as 'experimental'.

  • The Royal Flying Doctor Service, published by Exisle in 2007
  • May — the memoir of a family’s matriarch, self-published by the family in 2008
  • Smallpox Syphilis and Salvation — Medical Breakthroughs that Changed the World, published by Exisle in 2009
  • Carmel — a story of family and faith, 2011

Educator: Tutor and Workshop Facilitator: Sheryl has an MA in English Literature and DipEd from Sydney University. She worked for many years as a Senior Research and Assessment Officer (English) for Educational Assessment Australia (formerly Educational Testing Centre) at the University of New South Wales. Sheryl’s poetry and prose have been used as stimulus material in numerous English testing programmes in schools in Australia and abroad and she is a highly experienced test item writer and reviewer currently working as a consultant.

With a background in teaching, educational measurement and writing, Sheryl tutors students from Year 3 to Year 12, teaching gifted children and those with special needs and preparing students for NAPLAN, ICAS, Selective and Scholarship tests.

Sheryl conducts:

  • Poetry and Creative Writing Workshops — for children and adults and tailors each workshop to the needs and experience of the group.
  • English Item Writing Workshops for teachers — the technical aspects of writing multiple-choice and short-answer questions which function and discriminate.
  • Unpacking Multiple Choice Testing Workshops — analysing how tests measure literacy skills and cognitive levels.

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