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New Shoots

‘New Shoots: A Garden of Poems’ cultivates and celebrates poems inspired by plants and place. Created by Red Room Poetry in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and Australian Poetry, ‘New Shoots’ commissioned 10 poets to grow a new series of poems that respond to the environment and histories of the Gardens.

On Sunday 3 September, we were delighted to host the inaugural Victorian event in our Melbourne Gardens, an initiative of Red Room Poetry, in partnership with Australian Poetry and Melbourne Writers Festival.

The commissioned poets included Bruce Pascoe, Maria Takolander, Bonny Cassidy, Autumn Royal, Ryan Prehn, Elena Gomez, Duncan Hose, Chris Wallace Crabbe, Carissa Lee Godwin, and Cameron Lowe.

Joined with over 100 attendees and braced for the formidable forecast, the event began with a Welcome to Country with Aunty Fay. From here, groups were led around the Gardens on a walking tour by volunteers from Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and Melbourne Writers Festival.

Each location revealed a new poet, and their personal perspective of their selected site; educating, entertaining and inspiring each visitor. Sunday’s event concluded with afternoon tea and the chance to chat with each poet.

A self-guided tour of the Garden of Poems is available to anyone who wishes to experience this extraordinary event themselves, with excerpts of each poem printed on signs and ‘planted’ for new visitors to follow the trail. Biographies of each poet alongside their 10 poems are available here.

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