leaves rustle with the wind
as if they have a secret to tell.
~ Jamie, Year 7, Picton High School
POEM FOREST is a free nature writing prize that literally breathes life back into the natural world that sustains us.
Created by Red Room Poetry, in partnership with The Australian Botanic Garden, POEM FOREST deepens our connection with nature by inviting students and communities to use their words to make positive climate action. For every nature poem received a tree is planted to help heal habitats and create a POEM FOREST for future generations.
All POEM FOREST Prize entries will be published and in the running for $5,000 worth of prizes, including $500 cash for each category, book packs from Copyright Agency and Magabala Books, as well as Garden tours, trees and publication opportunities.
Entries to the 2021 POEM FOREST Prize are now closed. We have received over 5000 poems to help grow the forest. Thank you to everyone who entered and shared their deep connection with nature. Our shortlist will be announced in late October. Winners will be announced in late November. Entries for 2022 will open in April.
Explore all student poems »
About the Forest
The critically endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland once covered most of western Sydney, now it survives in scattered pockets. The Garden has been working to restore the fragmented woodland since the 1980's, and the POEM FOREST will include its three grand tree species: Forest Red Gum (Eucalyptus teriricornis), Grey Box (Eucalyptus moluccana) and Narrow-leaved Ironbark (Eucalyptus creba). Our goal is to plant 22,000 trees in three years. Learn more about the Australian PlantBank seeds and trees that will become the forest.
Soil-turning Ceremony 2021
Partners and Supporters
Generously supported by John B. Fairfax AO, Principal Patron of POEM FOREST and other generous partners.
Australia Council for the Arts
Australian Botanic Garden
Copyright Agency Cultural Fund
Graeme Wood Foundation