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Each year, the Red Room Poetry Fellowship is awarded to a previously-commissioned poet to foster and enhance their poetic and professional development. Established to recognise and develop the achievements of contemporary Australian poets, the Fellowship supports the artistic growth of the individual as well as the wider community.

Congratulations to our 2021 Fellowship Shortlist. These poets are a vivid reflection of the incredible poetic talent in Australia today.

2021 Fellowship Shortlist Judging Notes

The Fellowship received a record number of applications, reflecting a broad range of voices, cultures, ages, geographies, genders and sexualities as well as the political climate in which paid creative opportunities for writers are highly sought. Emerging and established poets, page and stage poets engaged our attention with diverse proposals. We’d like to thank every applicant — reading, considering and discussing your proposals was an honour, a privilege and a joy. We’d also like to thank Red Room Poetry for their energy, enthusiasm and commitment to poets and to poetry and for inviting us to judge this vital Fellowship.

Our shortlist selection represents a spectrum of poets with unique, imaginative and exceptional projects who clearly considered their proposals; demonstrated the development of and passion for their work; and articulated ways of looking outward to the greater benefits their role as Fellow would have for the poetic community. Proposals that demonstrated strong supplementary support and illuminated the rationale for both the individual and Red Room Poetry also scored favourably.

We congratulate all shortlisted poets and welcome Red Room Poetry’s offer to provide a commission and performance opportunity to each of the shortlisted poets.

Jeanine LeaneJessica Alice and Stuart Barnes
Red Room Poetry Fellowship Judges 2021


Our Fellow 

We're thrilled to announce Ellen van Neerven as the Red Room Poetry Fellow for 2021.
Read the Fellow's Statement and Judging Notes »  


The 2021 Fellow receives

  • $5000 poetic stipend “no strings”
  • $1000 commission to create a suite of poems inspired by an existing Red Room Poetry project
  • A two-week residency at Bundanon Trust with local workshops (Monday 12 July – Monday 25 July 2021)
  • Travel assistance
  • Opportunity to film or present a public address during the year-long Fellowship

Partners and Supporters

The Red Room Poetry Fellowship is supported by generous individuals.