Skip to content

Poem Forest

leaves rustle with the wind 
forever whispering
as if they have a secret to tell. 
~ Jamie, Year 7, Picton High School

Write a poem - plant a tree!

POEM FOREST is a free nature poetry prize that breathes life back into the world that sustains us.

Created by Red Room Poetry in collaboration with the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, POEM FOREST deepens our connection with nature by inviting students, teachers and communities to create and publish poems inspired by the natural environment. For every poem received, we will plant a native tree in the Garden, creating a POEM FOREST for future generations.

POEM FOREST encourages young people to use their words to make positive climate action through poetry. Principal Patron, John B Fairfax, AO is generously supporting the growing forest of poems.

All POEM FOREST 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. Find out more about the POEM FOREST Prize at Red Room Poetry.

Check out the free POEM FOREST teaching & learning resource.

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 1980s, and the POEM FOREST will include its three grand tree species: Forest Red Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis), Grey Box (Eucalyptus moluccana) and Narrow-leaved Ironbark (Eucalyptus crebra). We will also plant Spotted Gums and White Cedars, as well as a range of acacias (wattles), tea-trees and angophoras. 

Seedlings growing in the Nursery

Our goal is to plant 22,000 trees in three years. All the POEM FOREST trees are grown in the Garden's Nursery, from seed that has been wild-collected and stored in the Australian PlantBank.

​This project is being delivered with the Greening our City Premier's priority, funded by the Climate Change Fund.