Poem Forest-Image-Red Room Poetry-1365x670

leaves rustle with the wind
forever whispering
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.

In 2021, we received over 5000 POEM FOREST entries from students and teachers across the continent! More than 5000 trees were planting at the Garden as a result and the POEM FOREST continues to flourish thanks to the voices of all of our poets.

All POEM FOREST entries are published in our digital library and winners received $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. 

Celebrating winning and highly commended 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.


Partners and Supporters

Proudly supported by John B. Fairfax AO, Principal Patron of POEM FOREST and other generous partners.

  • Australia Council for the Arts

  • Create NSW

  • Australian Botanic Garden

  • McLean Foundation

  • Oranges & Sardines Foundation

  • Adès Family Foundation

  • Graeme Wood Foundation

  • Copyright Agency Cultural Fund

  • Magabala Books

  • Craig & Joy Lawn