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Allowing your seeds to grow in my eyes?
Giving up your gilded grooves? I can always
Escape to the forest that presses against my forehead.

~ Hattie from 'I Can See The Green'
Year 11, Collingwood College (VIC)


It has been an absolute joy to be involved with POEM FOREST. Seeing such writing talent, sensitivity and passion in the next generation helps me feel hopeful about the future of our planet and our relationship to the natural world.
~ Holly Ringland, POEM FOREST Judge

After reading over 5,000 nature poems spanning seasons, endangered snakes and spells to grow a tree, we're excited to celebrate the 2021 POEM FOREST Prize Shortlist.

These 108 outstanding poems come from students and teachers in every corner of the continent. Their voices are full of wonder and honour for the natural world as well as fierce calls for climate action. We hope you're as inspired by these words as we have been.

Congratulations to each and every shortlisted poet, and a huge thanks to every poet who has helped us to plant the first seedlings of the POEM FOREST at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan.

Winners Announcement Ceremony

Live-streamed via DART Learning
2pm AEDT, Tuesday 23 November

Tune in on Tuesday 23 November via DART Learning for our live broadcast of the Winners Announcement Ceremony – featuring poetry readings, giveaways, judges notes from youth climate activist and slam poet, Solli Raphael and more! Tickets are free but bookings are essential.

Shortlisted poems

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Lower Primary (F/K-Y3)

'When my feathers could not warm my body anymore but yours' by Zara A, Year 2, Driver Primary School (NT)
'The Birds' by Matteo A, Year 3, Alexandria Park Community School (NSW)
'Melaleuca quinquenervia' by Annabel F, F/K, Newtown North Public School (NSW)
'Nature changing' by Sarah D, Year 1, Presbyterian Ladies’ College (VIC)
'A Dharawal Spring' by Sayf Eldeen A, Year 3, Arkana College (NSW)
'The Monster in the tree' by Banjo H, Year 1, Homeschool (TAS)
'The Trees Poem' by Desmond S, Year 2, Zig Zag Public School (NSW)
'Leaves' by Rinan R, Year 2, Distance Education Centre Victoria (VIC)
'Creeks' by Vihangi S, Year 3, Courtenay Gardens Primary School (VIC)
'The Nature of Evening' by Poppy W, Year 3, Korowa Anglican Girls’ School (VIC)
'Our Fault' by Edward P, Year 3, Sydney Church of England Grammar School (NSW)
'Snow Beauty' by Ruby Aurelia M, Year 2, Bold Park Community School (WA)
'Summer Magic' by Michelle W, F/K, Abottsleigh (NSW)
'Big, Old Tree' by Minnie S, Year 3, St Michael’s Collegiate School (TAS)

Upper Primary (Y4-Y6)

'Bungaree’s Path' by Remi H, Year 5, Cammeray Public School (NSW)
'My Favourite Place' by Finnean O, Year 5, Annandale North Public School (NSW)
'This is the fire' by Sienna G, Year 5, Wenona School (NSW)
'Mallacoota' by Angus F, Year 4, Oxley Primary School (VIC)
'Grosi Tree' by Sienna P, Year 6, Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School (NSW)
'Her Fury' by Eliza K, Year 5, Arkana College (NSW)
'The Last Wallaby' by Lilian T, Year 6, St Michael’s Collegiate School (TAS)
'Rain' by Rubin D, Year 5, Ross Park Primary School (NT)
'Forest Walk' by Thomas S, Year 6, Brisbane Grammar School (QLD)
'Peaceful Giants' by Sia F, Year 6, Manly West Public School (NSW)
'Nature’s Inner Core' by Milla W, Year 6, Leongatha Primary School (VIC)
'Seashore Expedition' by Saskia L, Year 6, Homeschool (NSW)
'Compass' by Annabel F, Year 6, Korowa Anglican Girls’ School (VIC)
'Simplicity' by Rebecca HB, Year 6, MLC School (NSW)
'Myrtle' by Ella C, Year 4, Taroona Primary School (TAS)
'Blossom' by Henry J, Year 4, Kindlehill School (NSW)
'A Wandering Ronin' by Eileen X, Year 6, Epping West Public School (NSW)
'Underneath My Young Gum' by Eddie H, Year 6, Balmain Public School (NSW)
'Ancient Beauty' by Christopher P, Year 6, Balmain Public School (NSW)
'Lyrebird' by Alice S, Year 5, Mount Dandenong Primary School (VIC)
'Change' by Isabelle B, Year 6, Perth College (WA)
'Half' by Olive GT, Year 6, Brunswick South Primary School (VIC)
'Flannel Flowers' by Kobi G, Year 6, Kindlehill School (NSW)

Lower Secondary (Y7-Y9)

'Remember' by Sophie N, Year 8, Daramalan College (ACT)
'Gum Tree' by Syazwani S, Year 9, Hoppers Crossing Secondary College (VIC)
'shift' by Jazi C, Year 8, Reddam House (NSW)
'Melbourne - Tree 1439355' by Zara HJ, Year 9, Presbyterian Ladies’ College (NSW)
'A Sunset Eulogy' by Jaymee L, Year 9, Launceston Christian School (TAS)
'Wati Dhuwal Makurr-gu (The Worimi Fishing Tree)' by Isaac B, Year 7, Hunter River High School (NSW)
'The world past the houses' by Catherine W, Year 7, Oxford Falls Grammar School (NSW)
'In Aftermath' by Claudia W, Year 9, Underdale High School (SA)
'graeae' by Diana VG, Year 8, Reddam House (NSW)
'This is my home' by Olivia B, Year 7, Pennant Hills High School (NSW)
'Everywhere' by Seb A, Year 8, Daramalan College (ACT)
'A Delightful World' by Oliver F, Year 7, Kindlehill School (NSW)
'Amphitrite' by Cheryl S, Year 9, Somerville House (QLD)
'Entities of Forests - (Lies)' by Siwa H, Year 7, Lindfield Learning Village (NSW)
'Colossal Squid' by Ash C, Year 8, Katoomba High School (NSW)
'River' by Weeraya L, Year 9, St Clare’s College (NSW)

Upper Secondary (Y10-Y12)

'Waltz with the tree in my backyard' by Jhermayne U, Year 12, Holy Cross College (WA)
'Growing Pains' by Kyla R, Year 11, Westbourne College (NSW)
'What Lies West' by Scout H, Year 12, Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School (NSW)
'Connection' by Sophia T, Year 10, Collingwood College (VIC)
'We’re Running Out Of Time' by Chiara S, Year 10, Cerdon College (NSW)
'The Pines (Plantation)' by Ronan BM, Year 10, University High School, (VIC)
'The Reawakening' by Ella J, Year 10, Pacific Lutheran College (QLD)
'creature' by Fig R, Year 10, Fitzroy High School (VIC)
'the laws of nature' by Zara O, Year 11, Presbyterian Ladies' College (NSW)
'We would be human, not anymore' by Yoshi L, Year 12, Port Hacking High School (NSW)
'A spell to grow a tree' by Cooper L, Year 12, Gungahlin College (ACT)
'The Guiding' by Phoebe W, Year 10, St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School (WA)
'Our Second Mother' by Saufi R, Year 10, Christmas Island District High School (WA)
'She' by Jun C, Year 10, Christmas Island District High School (WA)
'I Can See The Green' by Hattie B, Year 11, Collingwood College (VIC)
'Forest Maths' by Nnadi S, Year 13, All Saint College (NSW)
'The Yellow Raven' by Valerie Y, Year 12, Sydney Girls High School (NSW)
'The Crossings' by Laura W, Year 11, Mosman High School (NSW)
'Consume me' by Casey G, Year 12, Mosman High School (NSW)

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Accredited Teacher

'Golden Bosun' by Kathryn Shortland-Jones, Teacher, Christmas Island District High School (WA)
'Reverie' by Catriona Martin, Teacher, St Paul’s College (NSW)
'what is outside the mind' by Nicole Butcher, Teacher, Victorian School of Languages (VIC)
'Lick' by Thomas Hickmott, Teacher, Presbyterian Ladies’ College (WA)
'Remnant River Red Gum: Eucalyptus camaldulensis' by Aloma Davis, Teacher, Toorak College (VIC)
'Lilly-Pilly' by Mary Prince, Teacher, St Clare's College (NSW)
'Healing Tree' by Andrew Moss, Teacher, Ss Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School (NSW)
'Dawn' by Glenn McPherson, Teacher, Broughton Anglican College (NSW)
'Froggery' by Joy Reid, Teacher, Gippsland Grammar (VIC)
'Earth Mother' by Stephanie Woerde, Teacher, Reconciliation Australia's Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Education (NSW)
'wherever you are there is stardust' by Julie-Ann Henninger, Homeschool (NSW)
'Mischief' by Blake Nuto, Teacher, St Michael’s Collegiate School (TAS)

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Threatened Species Prize (K-Y12)

'DRIP DROP GREY DELAY' by Shavi P, Year 6, Hornsby South Public School (NSW)
'Sorry Gouldian Finches, we really need a pinch...' by Rose L, Year 6, MLC School (NSW)
'Ceremonial Time' by Annabel L, Year 6, Abbotsleigh (NSW)
'Gouldian Finch' by Svara M, Year 4, Somerset College (QLD)
'Something Worth Fighting For' by Theodora H, Year 3, Alexandria Park Community School (NSW)
'The Pleading Regent Honeyeater' by Sydney D, Year 3, Newbridge Heights Public School (NSW)
'Mountain Pygmy Possum' by Josefine P, Year 7, St Catherine’s School (NSW)
'The Greater Bilby' by April R, Year 5, Northbridge Public School (NSW)
'I, The Mountain Pygmy Possum' by Lucia S, Year 6, St Therese Catholic Primary School (VIC)
'The Den' by Matilda G, Year 10, Mercedes College (WA)
'An enchanting spring morning' by Kareena G, Year 6, Tenison Woods College (SA)
'The Spined Echidna' by Jackson S, F/K, Homeschool (SA)
'Grove of the towering Blue Gums' Harry W, Year 7, Arden Anglican School (NSW)
'My Forest At Night' by Ella H, Year 3, Bourke St Public School (NSW)
'Yet, the koala knows' by Thisali W, Year 6, Indooroopilly State School (QLD)
'Come Home' by Kaia T, Year 7, Oxford Falls Grammar School (NSW)
'The Albatross' Jonah S, Year 7, Hawthorndene Primary School (SA)
'Christmas Island Flying Fox' Edward S, Year 4, Mona Vale Public School (NSW)

Australian Botanic Garden Local Prize (K-Y12)

'1°C more' by Clodia S, Year 11, Macarthur Girls High School (NSW)
'Silent Cries' by Nitya S, Year 12, Macarthur Girls High School (NSW)
'Stepping out of the I-wants' by Ernest M, Year 1, St Peter's Anglican Primary School (NSW)
'Together' by Jayden D, Year 6, Newbridge Heights Public School (NSW)
'Eclipse' by Ayesha K, Year 8, Oran Park High School (NSW)
'Promise of Earth' by Ruby C, Year 11, Engadine High School (NSW)

POEM FOREST would not have been possible without the support of John B. Fairfax AO, Principal Patron of POEM FOREST and other generous partners.