Australian Cypriot Poet, writer and performer Koraly Dimitriadis has been awarded a second grant from Creative Victoria for her first non-fiction book

Poet, writer and performer Koraly Dimitriadis has been awarded a second grant from Creative Victoria for her first non-fiction book, Not Till You’re Married. The project will examine how the cultural pressures of strict parenting in a migrant and/or religious family manifests in the modern adult.

Australian-born Cypriot Dimitriadis will lay down her own personal experience as a daughter of immigrants, “growing up in a working-class, religious and restrictive household”, an experience not foreign to a notable portion of second and third generation Australians, while also incorporating the stories of others.

In 2011 she self-published a zine Love and F**k Poems that repeatedly sold out in bookshops. She then started her own publishing company, Outside The Box Press, republishing it as a book in 2012. Love and F–k Poems is a bestseller for the Australian poetry genre. It was translated into Greek as Ποιήματα για Αγάπη και για Γαμήσι and published by ΑΣΤΑΜΑΝ in 2014 to rave reviews and debate, with European English and Greek rights sold in 2015 to Honest Publishing (UK). Koraly published her second poetry book, Just Give Me The Pills in 2018.

Koraly writes opinion articles/essays and has had over one hundred pieces published across Australia in publications such as News.com.au, Rendezview, Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, Overland, Meanjin, Women’s Agenda, The Age, SMH, ABC, SBS, Ten Daily, Kidspot, The Saturday Paper, Daily Life, Junkee.com, Mamamia and Neos Kosmos, with international publications in The Independent (UK), The Washington Post, The Guardian, Aljazeera and Shondaland.com. Koraly is a professional member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She started opinion writing in 2009 after gaining a place in the Overland masterclass and then blogging for the journal for numerous years. In 2021 Koraly received funding from Creative Victoria to develop her first book of non-fiction, Not Till You’re Married, where she will interview people and conduct research on those who have suffered repression. Expressions of interest can be made at nottillyouremarried@gmail.com

Koraly has performed her poetry nationally and internationally at theatres and festivals including the Melbourne Writers Festival, Emerging Writers Festival, Feminist Writers Festival, Human Rights Festival, Milosz Festival (Krakow UNESCO City of Literature), and Sardam Literary Festival (Cyprus). She has received numerous travel grants from the Cypriot Ministry of Education and has toured Europe and the USA. Notable venues include The Bowery in New York and The Poetry Society in London. Koraly is a cast member of Outer Urban Projects’ Poetic License which premiered at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival in 2014 at Footscray Community Arts Centre, and was remounted at Darebin Arts (2015) and 45 Downstairs (2017).

Koraly makes films of her poems, some of which have been screened on Channel 31 and at various film festivals including The Greek Film Festival nationally at Palace Cinemas. Notable screenings include: In 2017 ‘Best Friend’ was shortlisted in the Drama and Performance categories for the Australian Online Video Awards. ‘Mediterranean Madness’ directed by Artemis Evlogimenou (CY) was a finalist for the Queensland Poetry Festival (2020), was selected for the 9th International Poetry Festival(Athens, 2021), and was shortlisted for the Multicultural Film Awards (Victorian Multicultural Commission, 2022). ‘Ποια εν τούτη? (Who is she?)’ was selected for the Setting Sun Film Festival (2021) and 9th International Poetry Festival. Koraly produced her first unscripted feature Koraly (a mockumentary): I wonder if they’ll make the TV show in 2016 which was broadcast on Channel 31.

Koraly made her theatre debut in 2016 with her one-woman poetic play Koraly : ‘I say the wrong things all the time’. Directed by Cypriot director Olga Aristodemou, the play enjoyed a two week season at La Mama Courthouse Theatre. In 2020 Koraly received support from the Darebin Arts Speakeasy to work on a new theatre piece with acclaimed director Stephen Nicolazzo. In 2020 Koraly was an Associate Artist at Theatre Works. Koraly has undertaken acting training with Olga Aristodemou, Aleksi Vellis and Peter Andrikidis.

Koraly’s poetry has been translated in Czech, Polish, Greek and Greek-Cypriot. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in publications such as Resilience (Mascara/Ultimo), The Multilingual Project, Foyer (UK), Harana (UK), Fragile (Poland), Partonyma (Czech), Bordertown III(TransCollaborate), Southerly, Blue Dog, [Untitled], Short and Twisted, Social Alternatives, A Storytelling of Ravens: The Best of Little Raven Publishing 2011-2014, Etchings, Unusual Works, Offset, Southern Sun Aegean Light, F**k Poems (US), The Green Fuse, Poetry and Place Anthology, Paradise Anthology, Sotto, Page 17, Victorian Writer’s Centre Magazine, Solid Air: a spoken word anthology(UQP), Ideogramma (Cyprus). In 2020 she was commissioned by the Cyprus High Commission in London to produce an online video “Grandmothers” for their MIXTAPE festival. In 2011 Koraly was selected for Australian Poetry’s Cafe Poets series and was the resident poet at Brunswick Street Bookstore for a year.

For her debut unpublished fiction manuscript, Koraly received a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship (2017), a Chantilly Studio artist residency (2018), a HOANI writers residency (2018), the UNESCO City of Literature residency in Krakow (2019) and a Moreland writer’s residency (2020).

Her writing has been broadcast on radio and television and has scrolled on Federation square wall. She has been interviewed on television and radio for shows such as ABC Radio National with Jon Faine, Meraki TV (Foxtel), Hellenic TV (London), Sigma TV (Cyprus), She Shot (Channel 31) and The Hack (Triple J). Her articles have been discussed on programs such as Studio Ten and she has sat on panels for The Emerging Writers Festival, The Antipodes Writers Festival and Diversity Arts Australia.

Koraly has a diploma in professional writing and editing from RMIT and a double degree in accounting and computing. She was a radio presenter for Spoken Word on 3CR community radio for numerous years and today she occasionally co-hosts She Bop. Koraly has experience as an editor, publisher, festival curator and literary judge. She is a mentor and manuscript assessor for Writers Victoria and has taught poetry as a guest lecturer at RMIT. Koraly conducts workshops on writing fearlessly or ‘Writing like you don’t care what people think’ which she has run at NeMe Arts Space (Limassol), Home 4 Cooperation in the UN buffer zone (Cyprus), at San Francisco Creative Writing Institute, and at Writer’s Victoria. In 2020 she started a new online festival, No I am not washing your dirty plate Arts Festival, to help amplify the voices of southern-European women in the diaspora and unify them with the female voices of their homeland. Koraly is the digital writer-in-residence for the Paphos Theatre Dig in Cyprus, organised by The University of Sydney. She also occasionally reviews theatre for The Plus Ones.