Forms and Electronic Subscriptions
On This Site
of Modern Bush Poets
Many Poets have products and services available
Roll of Honour
Australian Bush Poetry Champions
and ABPA executive members
See and hear some of our
modern Bush Poets
Poets often tell yarns too.
Read some great Aussie yarns
ABPA Strategic Plan
2016 Review of Competition Package
and Strategic Plan
2016 ABPA Committee
- ABPA Committee
President - Tom McIlveen
Vice President - Hal Pritchard
Secretary - Rhonda Tallnash
Treasurer - Shelley Hansen
- Committee Members
- ABPA State Delegates
Qld - Cay Ellem
NSW - Rob Christmas
Vic - Jan Lewis
Tas - Philip Rush
SA - Bob Magor
NT - Lance Lawrence
WA - Irene Conner
- Magazine Editor - Neil McArthur
Promotions Officer - Brenda Joy
Webmaster - Gregory North
President's Report Dec-JanGreetings to all ABPA Members and magazine readers. Christmas is almost upon us once again, with another year done and dusted. Is it true that time is speeding up...or perhaps it is just our distorted perception of time in a faster, crazier and busier world? The highlight of the past two months since the last edition, would have to have been the West Australian Bush Poetry State Championships and the Toolangi CJ Dennis Festival. Congratulations to Irene Conner, Bill & Meg Gordon, and the West Australian committee overall. Another feather to add to your formidable western sombreros! Also to Jim Brown and Stephen Whiteside and your wonderful CJ Dennis committee.
It is encouraging to know that Bush Poetry is indeed alive and well in the West. From all reports, there were great crowds turning up at all events to enjoy watching the best of the west compete and entertain in an extravaganza of good old traditional Australian Bush verse and yarn spinning.
West Australian Bush Poets will be hosting the Australian Championships next year and they have certainly laid the foundation at state level, to ensure that the Nationals will be an outstanding success!
The countdown is on for the Tamworth Country Music Festival 2017, and this year promises to be something very special for Bush Poetry.
The upcoming annual walk-ups at St Edward’s Hall in Tamworth this January, will be introducing ‘THE INAUGURAL PEOPLE’S CHOICE FRANK DANIEL BUSH VERSE AWARD’. This will give visiting poets an opportunity to pick up cash prizes each day, in a relaxed, fun environment, where they will be judged by members of the audience, to determine the People’s Choice champion. All non-professional poets are invited to compete and everybody is welcome to come along to enjoy the entertainment and participate in the judging for each event.
Winners will be chosen each day and awarded a cash prize, and will then be eligible to compete in the final championship round being held at 2pm on Australia Day, Thursday the 26th of January. The final winner, who will also be judged by the audience, (and Frank of course, who will be there with us in spirit), will be awarded THE FRANK DANIEL BUSH VERSE TROPHY, another cash prize, and the opportunity to perform at the legendary Longyard Hotel’s Bush Poets’ Breakfast Show on the following Sunday morning.
We have a new venue for the Golden Dampers this year, as you may well have already heard. It is being held at the Tamworth Rugby Club in Marius Street. (very easy to find...follow the main highway coming in on north side of town...keep heading west until you cross under the railway viaduct bridge and it is on the right hand side). Competitors will need to get their applications in promptly, as performance spots are limited and are rapidly filling.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Graeme Johnson, who despite having his hands full organising his own Rhymer’s Roundup show for Tamworth, has been tirelessly, methodically and meticulously (running out of superlatives) organising the upcoming Golden Damper Awards. There is an enormous amount of work goes into organising these events, and only those who do it would fully appreciate just how much.
On behalf of all ABPA members, a big thankyou to all event organisers: Meg and Bill Gordon, Irene Conner, Sandy and John Lees, Jan Lewis, Stephen Whiteside, Jim Brown, Eric Beer, Glenny Palmer and any others that I haven’t mentioned, who are involved in organising these events. These events and their organisers are the lifeblood of our craft, and without them, our beloved traditional Australian verse may well fade away into yesteryear.
Speaking of which... it is with much regret that we are seeing the retirement of John and Sandy Lees and the legendary Bundy Bush Poetry Muster (for 2017 at least), which has been running annually without fail for the past 22 years. I have attended four of these musters and considered them second to none. Thankyou John and Sandy for all you have contributed over those 22 years. You are both legends in our world, honoured respected and loved, (Fingers crossed the Muster may be resurrected for 2018). [See Bundaberg Poets's Society explanation here.]
As many would know, there was an annual review of the ABPA Competition Package and this resulted in some changes to the ABPA Guidelines, Procedures, Assessment sheets and Entry Forms for both Performance and Written competitions.
Following post review feedback some further minor adjustments have been made to the Performance Bush Poetry and Yarn Spinning Assessment sheets. So that all concerned with the organisation of, judging of or participation
in competitions, are in tune with the 2016 upgrades, everyone is urged to re-familiarise themselves with all the relevant documents and helpful information in the current ABPA Competition Package on the Competitions page. Should you have any queries please contact the ABPA Secretary or Promotions officer Brenda Joy. Contacts here.
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the ABPA, will be held again as usual, on Wednesday afternoon 2pm at St Edwards Hall Tamworth 25th January 2017. All members are urged to come along.
In Poetry, Tom McILveen.
Welcome to the ABPA website
WELCOME, membership of the Australian Bush Poets Association (ABPA) is comprised of writers, performers and individuals who are interested in bush poetry and enjoy written and live stories in rhyme and metre. If you have an interest in this piece of Australian culture called Bush Poetry, you are welcome here.
The objectives of the Australian Bush Poets Association is to foster and encourage the growth of Bush Poetry in Australia. By definition, Australian Bush Poetry is metred and rhymed poetry about Australia, Australians and/or the Australian way of life.
To join the Australian Bush Poets Association and receive our bi-monthly magazine, go to our Membership page.
The ABPA keeps in touch with our members through this website (and forum) and our bi-monthly magazine of Bush Poetry news, events, results of written and spoken competitions as well as samples of contemporary bush poetry. Many members have books, CDs and other products. These can be advertised in the magazine. For rates, click here. The deadline for ads and other content for the magazine is the 22nd of the month preceding publication. Magazines are published at the beginning of February, April, June, August, October and December.
Check out our Facebook page.
Changes to Competition Package
The annual review of the ABPA Competition Package resulted in some changes to the ABPA Guidelines, Procedures, Assessment sheets and Entry Forms for both Performance and Written competitions. Following post review feedback some further minor adjustments have been made to the Performance Bush Poetry and Yarn Spinning Assessment sheets.
So that all concerned with the organisation of, judging of or participation in competitions, are in tune with the 2016 upgrades, everyone is urged to re-familiarise themselves with all the relevant documents and helpful information in the current ABPA Competition Package on the Competitions page. Should you have any queries please contact the ABPA Secretary or
or Brenda Joy, the Review Sub-Committee Secretary. Contacts here.
No Bundy Bush Poetry Muster in 2017
See Bundabereg Poets' Society explanation here.
2017 Tamworth Country Music Festival Bush Poetry events
Robyn Sykes has kindly put together a list of events for the upcoming Tamworth festival. See it here.
The ABPA is running the Inaugural Frank Daniel Bush Verse Award at St Edward's Hall, 72 Hillvue Road, South Tamworth during the festival. Full information here.
2 - 4 pm except Wednesday 25th (ABPA AGM)
Walk up and compete.
Judged by the audience.
5 minute time limit.
Daily cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places who may compete at the Australia Day final 2pm.
Overall winner receives a trophy and cash plus the opportunity to perform at the famous Longyard Hotel Poets Breakfast on the following Sunday morning.
Thanks to Ray Essery (who had the brainwave), Neil McArthur and Tom McIlveen for donating prizes.
ABPA Golden Damper Awards 2017 Bush Poetry Performance Competition
Heats: Tuesday Jan 24, Thurs Jan 26 and Fri Jan 27: all 10.30am - 1.30pm. Gold coin donation entry.
Finals: Sat Jan 28, 10.30am-1.30pm. Entry $5. Entry forms and more information on Events page.
NEW VENUE: Tamworth Rugby Club - Marius Street. Parking in Marius and Macquarie Streets adjacent to the Rugby park. Festival Shuttle Bus stop also nearby.
Blackened Billy Verse Competition - winners announced at Golden Damper heat (see above) on Friday 27th January.
ABPA Annual General Meeting - 2 pm Wednesday 25th January at St Edward's Hall, 72 Hillvue Road, South Tamworth.
Poets Showcase Breakfast - Gary Fogarty hosts a rotating roster of Australia's most popular bush poets. Monday 23rd - Friday 27th January 8 - 10 am at the Frog & Toad Listening Room 236 Goonoo Goonoo Road, Tamworth. $8 entry.
Rhymer's Roundup - 10:30 am - 12:30 pm Friday 20th - Wednesday 25th January at North Tamworth Bowling Club, 22-26 Bligh Street (cnr Piper), North Tamworth. Featuring The Rhymer From Ryde, Gregory North, Rhonda Tallnash, John Peel, Noel Bull and musos Pat Drummond and Steve Passfield. $7.50 entry.
The Longyard Hotel Poets Breakfast - Hosts: Neil McArthur and Marco Gliori
Saturday 21st – Sun 29th January, 8 - 10 am at The Longyard Hotel Goonoo Goonoo Room (at rear of hotel). $10 entry.
3 Blokes Fishing - Poetry, Comedy, Music with Marco Gliori, Alan Glover, Peter Willey at Tamworth Golf Club, Mahony Ave.
Sunday 22nd – Fri 27th January, 11 am - 1 pm. Bookings 02 6765 9393. $20 entry.
Muz Hartin 30 years at Tamworth plus CD Launch. Seven Exclusive One Man Shows from The Bloke Who Wrote Turbulence.
Sat 21st - Mon 23rd January, Wed 25th - Sat 28th January. 7pm for 7.30pm start. Tamworth Golf Club. Mahony Ave. Phone 02 67659393 for tickets: $20
Bush Poets and Balladeers Concerts 7 pm 24th & 27th January at Tamworth Gardens Retirement Community Centre, Tamworth NSW. Featuring Pat Drummond, Ray Essery, Gregory North, Peter Mace, Bill Kearns, Garry Lowe, John Peel, Noel Bull, Rhonda Tallnash and Tom McIlveen. Phone 02 6761 7087. $10 entry. INFO
Poettes - Friday 27th January 2 - 5pm at St Edward's Hall, 72 Hillvue Road, South Tamworth. $5 entry.
Blast from the past
Thanks again to ABPA foundation member John Major for sending in this photo taken by his late wife Joy, in 1994. From the left Bob Miller, Bill Hay, Marco Gliori, Noel Cutler, Murray Hartin, John Major and Sandy Miller.
See previously featured poets.
See previously featured achievers.
Vale John Major
is with great sadness that we report the sudden and unexpected death of
one of our long-time stalwarts, John Major. John shared his love for
bush poetry with adults and children throughout Australia for many
years. The Aussie Bush Poetry community is poorer for his loss and our
sincere sympathy goes to his family at this sad time.