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Slender green trees,
smoother than silk on the paper.
Splutters of smoke upon brick houses
puff gently from my brush.
~ from ‘Paintbrush’ by Isobel, Year 7, St Michael’s Collegiate

In 2019, Poetry Object reached more people than ever before! In 240 schools and 414 classrooms across Australia and New Zealand, students and teachers discovered new ways to write poems about objects they hold dear.

From over 2350 submissions, we’re thrilled to present this shortlist of 51 outstanding poems. Cherished objects ranged from a glass penguin, to stardust, shells and items of cultural significance.

Congratulations to all shortlisted poets! Winners will be announced Thursday 28 November.

 

'The message was that poems can hurt, they can heal, but in the end they have some sort of meaning.'  Ella, year 6
Read shortlisted poets' reflections on their special objects and writing processes

 

Poetry Object 2019 Shortlist

Primary

'A Cat' by Benjamin, Year 4, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School Launceston (TAS)
'A Dear Friend’s Memory' by Amy Maree, Year 5, Wagaman Primary School (NT)
'A Piece of Wood' by Taiyeon, Year 5, Greenacre Public School (NSW)
'Cold Air' by Spencer, Year 6, Balmoral School (NZ)
'Didgeridoo' by Daniel, Year 6, Farmborough Road Public School (NSW)
'Little Girl' by Brianna, Year 5, Girraween Primary School (NT)
'Metal Memories' by Pippa, Year 6, Balgowlah Heights Public School (NSW)
'My Special Top' by Sienna, Year 5, Burke Ward Public School (NSW)
'Ode to Stardust' by Alice, Year 5, Bell Primary School (VIC)
'Pages' by Alice, Year 6, Bell Primary School (VIC)
'Polaroid (a reverse poem)' by Ella, Year 6, Greenacre Public School (NSW)
'Shells' by Ashton, Year 5, Balmoral School (NZ)
'The Deep Blue' by Noah, Year 5, Taroona Primary School (TAS)
'The Grandfather Clock' by Samuel, Year 4, Mount Sinai College (NSW)
'The Magic Photo' by Jasper, Year 4, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School Launceston (TAS)
'Torrent' by Italia, Year 4, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School Launceston (TAS)
'Travel bag' by Amaya, Year 6, Illawarra Christian School (NSW)
'Unknown Past' by Paige, Year 5, Balgowlah Heights Public School (NSW)
'When Time Stops' by Eleanor, Year 6, School of Isolated and Distance Education (WA)

 

Secondary

'A dust collector' by Yumi, Year 7, Benowa State High School (QLD)
'A New Brew' by Dylan, Year 8, Applecross Senior High School (WA)
'A note' by Keely, Year 7, Ogilvie High School (TAS)
'Adrift in Space' by Saniru, Year 7, Penrith Selective High School (NSW)
'Broken Umbrella' by Lucia, Year 9, SCEGGS Darlinghurst (NSW)
'Dedication to ‘Ferny’' by Jeremy, Year 10, St John’s Grammar (SA)
'For the moment, just lights' by Lylah, Year 8, The Scots School Albury (NSW)
'Headphones' by Zhouyan, Year 9, Balwyn High School (VIC)
'Listening' by Georgie, Year 8, Applecross Senior High School (WA)
'Loved by Me' by Jackson, Year 10, New Town High (TAS)
'Memories encased in a dog tag' by Devika, Year 8, Wilderness School (SA)
'Moon' by Izzy, Year 8, Reddam House Middle School (NSW)
'night’s lullaby' by Gretchen, Year 7, Penrith Selective High School (NSW)
'Ode to a Silver Flask' by Amelia, Year 9, MacRobertson Girls’ High School (VIC)
'Paintbrush' by Isobel, Year 7, St Michael’s Collegiate (TAS)
'Plastic' by Edwina, Year 8, Wilderness School (SA)
'Rowboat' by Sharvari, Year 7, Penrith Selective High School (NSW)
'Samba' by Isabella, Year 8, Applecross Senior High School (WA)
'Seams' by Sarah-Kate, Year 10, Simons Home School (NZ)
'Skin to Skin, Heart to Heart' by Kathy, Year 8, Sacred Heart Girls’ College (VIC)
'Species that Shatter' by Seanna, Year 8, St Joseph’s College (NSW)
'Superhero' by Gabrielle, Year 10, Riverside High School (TAS)
'Tale of an Instrument' by Sunny, Year 9, MacRobertson Girls’ High School (VIC)

 

Teacher

'Breathe' by Rebecca Hunt, St John’s Grammar (SA)
'Dead Cold' by Kathryn Shortland-Jones, Christmas Island District High School (WA)
'Forever.' by Bec Fyfield, Sacred Heart Girls’ College (VIC)
'Josephus Problem' by Bronwyn Lang, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School Launceston (TAS)
'Keepcup' by Jack Fray, Bell Primary School (VIC)
'Moon Song' by Peter Ramm, Cedars Christian College (NSW)
'My Brother' by Julie Suey, Farmborough Road Public School (NSW)
'Shifting Shawls' by Chris Raich, Applecross Senior High School (WA)
'The End: A series of haikus' by Dawnie Tagala, Casuarina College (NT)

 

About Poetry Object

Red Room Poetry Object is Australasia’s largest free poetry-writing competition for young people, with over $10,000 in prizes to be won! Poetry Object ignites imaginations by inviting young writers (Years 3-10) and their teachers to create poems inspired by treasured, curious or talismanic objects. Every year we publish new curriculum-aligned resources and commission celebrated poets to create original poems and deliver poetic learning workshops.

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