Poetry Object 2019

What you remember most is the feeling of rain 
that miraculous, ecstatic instant when you burst forth into a wet sky 
your eyes closed, meditating to the music of the spheres. 

~ from ‘Broken Umbrella’ by Lucia, Year 9, SCEGGS Darlinghurst
First place (Secondary), Poetry Object 2019

Red Room Poetry is pleased to announce the winning poems for Poetry Object 2019. These poems evoke wonder and curiosity as tributes for small objects, precious moments and memories.

This year’s judge, award-winning poet Emilie Zoey Baker, said: ‘It was an honour to read the shortlisted entries for Red Room Poetry Object. There were some truly exciting new voices that I’m thrilled to highlight here … I looked for poets that had a vision they wanted to share, and had found a way to draw the reader in.’

The winners were announced during a live-stream video event Thursday 28 November, in partnership with Museum of Arts and Applied Sciences (MAAS). Winners received prizes from a pool valued at over $10,000.

Read the poets' reflections on their work and the stories behind the poems >>

Download the PDF of winning poems and judging notes >>

Read the shortlist >>


Poetry Object 2019 winning poems


First Place: 'A Piece of Wood' by Taiyeon, Year 5, Greenacre Public School (NSW)
Rex Prize: 'My Special Top' by Sienna, Year 5, Burke Ward Public School (NSW)
Highly Commended:
'Didgeridoo' by Daniel, Year 6, Farmborough Road Public School (NSW)
'Shells' by Ashton, Year 5, Balmoral School (NZ)
'The Magic Photo' by Jasper, Year 4, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School Launceston (TAS)
People's Choice: 'Cold Air' by Spencer, Year 6, Balmoral School (NZ)



First Place: 'Broken Umbrella' by Lucia, Year 9, SCEGGS Darlinghurst (NSW)
Rex Prize: 'For the moment, just lights' by Lylah, Year 8, The Scots School Albury (NSW)
Highly Commended:
'A note' by Keely, Year 7, Ogilvie High School (TAS)
'Loved by Me' by Jackson, Year 10, New Town High (TAS)
'Plastic' by Edwina, Year 8, Wilderness School (SA)
'Species that Shatter' by Seana, Year 8, St Joseph’s College (NSW)
'Tale of an Instrument' by Sunny, Year 9, MacRobertson Girls’ High School (VIC)
People's Choice: 'Headphones' by Zhouyan, Year 9, Balwyn High School (VIC)



First Place: 'Moon Song' by Peter Ramm, Cedars Christian College (NSW)
Highly Commended:
'Dead Cold' by Kathryn Shortland-Jones, Christmas Island District High School (WA)
'Josephus Problem' by Bronwyn Lang, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School Launceston (TAS)
People's Choice: 'My Brother' by Julie Suey, Farmborough Road Public School (NSW)


Multimedia Installation Prize

Joint First Place: ‘Mystery in a Matchbox’ by Abbotsford Public School (NSW)
Joint First Place: ‘What do your shoes say about you?’ by St Charles’ Primary School Waverley (NSW)

Partners & supporters

  • Australia Council for the Arts

  • Create NSW

  • Copyright Agency Cultural Fund

  • Regional Express Airlines

  • Oranges & Sardines Foundation

  • Art Gallery of NSW

  • Museum of Arts and Applied Sciences

  • National Gallery of Australia

  • National Museum of Australia

  • NZ Poetry Day

  • Good Reading Magazine