Poetry Object 2018 Shortlist


See we are astronomers trying
to make sense of the stars inside us.

~ From 'Beyond the Window' by Addy, Year 9, Kinross Wolaroi School


Young writers and their teachers submitted a whopping 2,526 poems to Red Room Poetry Object, an annual poetry-writing competition for students in Years 3-10 and their teachers.

With great fanfare we announce the shortlist for Poetry Object 2018

We present this shortlist of 72 poems, celebrating the students’ poetic prowess and unique relationships with special objects including a mahogany grand piano, puppy teeth, a handmade bamboo chair from Mauritius, a silver flute, family portraits and a Sicilian music box.

The winners will be announced during a live-stream video event on Thursday 6 December 2018, in partnership with Museum of Arts and Applied Sciences (MAAS). Prizes are awarded to the winning student (primary and secondary) poems, teacher poem, group installation and poems from regional and rural locations. Prizes include flights, travel vouchers and poetry packs, valued at over $10,000.

Winning poems will also come alive in an animated short film to be screened during the Winners Announcement and released in cinemas Australia in December 2018.

Poetry Object is one of the few projects of its scale to encourage young people to write original poetry. It is a joy to read the brave, sincere, hilarious and deftly-written poems submitted to the project; and it's clear that for many of these writers, poetry is fast becoming a place to experiment with voice, explore identity, and process life's events. May this be the gateway to a lifelong relationship with poetry!


Shortlisted poems


'A Memory' by Ella, Sacré Cœur (VIC)
'a picture of my brother' by Jana, Wollongong West Public School (NSW)
'A Twisted Count' by Grace, Abbotsleigh Junior School (NSW)
'Amphibian' by Emily, Queenstown Primary School (NZ)
'Dogs' by Emily, Durack School (NT)
'Dreamer' by Matthew, Leichhardt Public School (NSW)
'Drops in Time' by Ellis, Oatley West Public School (NSW)
'From seed to tree' by Isaac, Eumundi State School (QLD)
'Goodbye Haikus' by Blade, Hallett Cove School (SA)
'HMS Bounty' by James, Balgowlah Heights Public School (NSW)
'Inert' by Saxon, Balgowlah Heights Public School (NSW)
'Lucid Reminiscence' by Elani, Balgowlah Heights Public School (NSW)
'Memories' by Hannah, Hallett Cove School (SA)
'My Bridle' by Summah, Mole Creek Primary School (TAS)
'My Bunk Bed' by Amelia, Willmott Park Primary School (VIC)
'My Cotton Warrior' by Skye, Waimea Heights Primary School (TAS)
'My First Violin' by Zarina, St Ives North Public School (NSW)
'My Hearing Aid' by Millie, Willmott Park Primary School (VIC)
'My Inheritance' by Shyam, St Mary's Primary School Grafton (NSW)
'My Laptop' by Andy, Greenacre Public School (NSW)
'My Lucky Amulet' by Betty, Oatley West Public School (NSW)
'My Lucky Charm' by Zijun, St Ives North Public School (NSW)
'My Sanity' by Edie, Fitzroy North Primary School (VIC)
'My Strawberry Plant' by Paddy, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic College (NT)
'The Paper Dragon' by Marcus, Mona Vale Public School (NSW)
'The Wave' by Charlie, Balmoral School (NZ)
'untitled' by Lucinda, Sacré Cœur (VIC)
'Visions' by Anne, Abbotsleigh Junior School (NSW)
'Woodland Creature' by Harley, Eumundi State School (QLD)
'Your Hand Holding Mine' by Amelie, Balgowlah Heights Public School (NSW)



'A Diamond Without its Case' by Fadwa, School of Isolated and Distance Education (WA)
'A Silver Friend' by Jasmine, Greenacre Baptist Christian Community College (NSW)
'A Souvenir from my Grandpa' by Lara, Brighton Secondary School (SA)
'An Old Friend' by Ashlyn, Aquinas College (VIC)
'An Old Word' by Larisa, Hornsby Girls High School (NSW)
'Breathing Object' by Camille, Reddam House Middle School (NSW)
'Fasten Me Tight' by Alicia, Kilbreda College (VIC)
'Glass Pendant' by Aliyah, Kolbe Catholic College (WA)
'Golden Times' by Leah, Brighton Secondary School (SA)
'Grandma's Special Doll' by Kyra, Alice Springs School of the Air (NT)
'Her Chair' by Oscar, Oxford Falls Grammar School (NSW)
'Mahogany Bones' by Maddie, Kinross Wolari School (NSW)
'Mapping Love' by Joe, ASC St Peter's Campus (NSW)
'One Tear Drop' by Dharika, Penrith High School (NSW)
'Paint Palette' by Kelly, Long Bay College (NZ)
'Polaroid Photo' by Niranjanaa, MacRobertson Girls' High School (VIC)
'Pounamu Poem' by Charlotte, Rangiora High School (NZ)
'Puppy Teeth' by Tatiana, Rangiora High School (NZ)
'Sicilian Music Box' by Lucia, SCEGGS Darlinghurst (NSW)
'Simple Sphere' by Ashley, Penrith High School (NSW)
'Spatula' by Caitie, Aquinas College (VIC)
'That Box' by Emersyn, Oxford Falls Grammar School (NSW)
'The Earphones' by Finlay, Brighton Secondary School (SA)
'The Longings of a Timeworn Guitar' by Gabrielle, Riverside High School (TAS)
'The Memories in a Jewellery Box' by Isabel, Kilbreda College (VIC)
'The taste of summer' by Yenuli, MacRobertson Girls' High School (VIC)
'The Truth Only I Tell' by Sarah, ASC St Peter's Campus (NSW)
'Time Stands Still' by Emma, Alice Springs School of the Air (NT)
'Turning Point' by Lila, Kinross Wolari School (NSW)
'What Once Was' by Mia, Benowa State High School (QLD)



'Coffee Pot' by Ela Fornalska, Hume Central Secondary College (VIC)
'Cumulus, Cirrus, Cirrostratus' by Georgie Balmain, Dulwich Hill Public School (NSW)
'Dee Dee' by Helen Ebert, Fitzgerald State School (QLD)
'Distilled by Light' by Joy Reid, Gippsland Grammar (VIC)
'For my father (1944-1974)' by Edwina Cowdery, Abbotsford Public School (NSW)
'Newer Voices' by Tom Kristof, Willmott Park Primary School (VIC)
'Our footy coats' by John Cole, Burgmann Anglican School (ACT)
'Passport' by Ludwig Ablana, Inglewood Primary School (WA)
'Folded Swan' by Susan Cullen, School of Isolated and Distance Education (WA)
'Teeth' by Jann Sinclair, St Ives North Public School (NSW)
'The Locket' by Emma Ingram, St Mary’s Primary School Grafton (NSW)
'Transcendent' by Angela Patterson, Leichhardt Public School (NSW)


The competition, which will re-open in 2019, is supported by Oranges & Sardines Foundation and:

About Poetry Object

Cartwheeling into its eighth year, Red Room Poetry Object is Australasia’s largest free poetry writing competition for students and teachers (Years 3-10). Poetry Object ignites imaginations by inviting young writers to create, publish and submit poems inspired by special objects. In 2018, hundreds of schools joined us for the journey with free learning resources and over $10,000 in prizes.

Key dates

18 October: Shortlist announced
6 December: Winners announced at live-stream video event
Mid-December: Animated short film released, incorporating poetry excerpts from winning poems.

Participating cinemas (27 December 2018 – 10 January 2019)

Event Cinemas George Street (NSW), Hoyts Bankstown (NSW), Reading Cinemas Dubbo (NSW) Hoyts Northland (VIC), Hoyts Chadstone (VIC), Toowoomba BC&C (QLD) and Darwin Casuarina BC&C (NT).