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.

ABPA Facebook page Check out our Facebook page.

Limited Issue Chook Raffle drawn and won by ticket 1278 - Jenny and Danny from Brisbane. Congratulations! See more here.

No Bundy Bush Poetry Muster in 2017
See Bundabereg Poets' Society explanation here.

Meet a Poet - Arthur Leggett

Arthur Leggett Living legend, Arthur Leggett OA, was the "Star" on a series of radio interviews played on Western Australia's Capital Radio FM 101.7 in June.

Arthur is a World War I baby boomer, who at the tender age of 98 got up in front of the crowd at the 2017 Australia Day Bush Poets Showcase and "did his bit", without skipping a beat and without needing any prompting or needing to refer to any printed words.

Arthur has been writing poetry for a long, long time. So long, in fact, that his early poetry is now  classified as "Traditional".

But this is far from Arthur's only achievement. For many years he has been active in various organisations associated with POWs. He is now one of only three living WWII POWs.

Arthur's physical attributes are also legendary. He was still running full marathons in his 60s and half marathons in his 70s.  Has been a member of the Over 55 Bicycle Club and the Over 55 Canoe Club. He trained 4 hours a day for a year to compete in his first Avon Descent (in his mid 70s).

These are just a few of his many exploits - we've not mentioned his civic contributions, his mentoring high school kids, or the fact he has written a couple of books, and many more not mentioned here.

See an interview with Arthur from the Australians at War Film Archive.

See previously featured poets.

Achievers - Carol Heuchan

Carol HeuchanCarol Heuchan, from Cooranbong in NSW, has always been a country girl. A capable horsewoman  who spent many years on a sheep and cattle station in the Snowy Mountains, she has ‘had a go’ at most horse sports though her forte was the world of elite show horses. She competed with success at over fifty Royal Shows around Australia and in more recent times, became the Main Arena Commentator at Sydney Royal Easter Show and in 2017 was honoured to judge their prestige horse events.

Despite her high profile Bush Poetry career, it only started in 2003 when her first book came out and friends took her to Tamworth – her first ever competition. Success led to success and in a short time, she amassed a heap of elite awards (including winning the richest prize in Poetry history) and then withdrew from competition to become a professional Bush Poet.

Highlights include nine Bush Laureate Awards, an ABC Television series (’Bush Slam’), successfully contesting the World Poetry Debate, and performing at some of the largest (and the smallest!) events in Australia (and New Zealand) as well as corporate functions and Charity events throughout the country. 

Just to make sure she doesn’t get a minute’s rest, she also regularly commentates at major horse events, live streamed to some eighty thousand viewers around the world.

Durango posterBut poetry is her focus.  In 2009 Carol was, with Milton Taylor’s endorsement, invited to perform at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, USA. And that was just the beginning. She has done nine professional performance tours of US and Canada to date and in June this year, headed off for probably the ultimate gig.

Carol has a three month contract in Durango, Colorado! Her rural background and her original poetry fit the genre well, it seems. She is to MC and do poetry four nights a week at the historic Henry Strater Theatre in a very exciting production which will target the huge summer tourist trade that Durango attracts.  Each week a different singer/musician comes in to perform with Carol and they are some of the top Western artists in the US.  Ticket sales are already well under way apparently, with package tours linked to the fabulous Strater Hotel. 

Why an Australian to tell the story of the West, you ask?  In her own words, ‘Sometimes people who lead extraordinary lives do not realise just how extraordinary they are and it is only when someone from the outside looks in, that the adventure, the romance, the excitement unfolds.’

And if that’s not exciting enough, she has already been booked for our Championships WA, then New Zealand in November. In 2018 she’s back to US again - Northern Colorado (Golden) in January, then Alpine, Texas (yippee) in March, then Kamloops, Canada. 

Congratulations Carol - our international Aussie bush poet!

See previously featured achievers.

Poets entertaining travellers around the traps this winter

Mel and Susie on TourMel & Susie on Tour - Lightning Ridge NSW.
Daily shows at 4:30 pm for guests at Opal Caravan Park.
Stay tuned for regular shows at their own theatre - A Hidden Gem - due to start once construction is completed (it's the outback, so things happen in their own good time!)

Poetry on a PlateAndrew Hull, Poetry on a Plate - Bourke NSW.
6.30pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday nights at Kidmans Camp, North Bourke.
The season runs from April through until October.

Bob Pacey
Bob Pacey - Yeppoon Qld.
Coolwaters Holiday Village
Usually Thursday nights, with a meal and some country music on alternating weeks. 
From mid-June through to the end of August.

Neil McArthurNeil McArthur - Charters Towers Tourist Park Qld.

Brenda JoyBrenda Joy and Hal Pritchard - Texas Longhorn Wagon Tours north of Charters Towers Qld.Depending on demand and conditions. May through September.

Brenda Joy also at Dalrymple Cabin and Van Park, Charters Towers Qld.
'Around the Campfire' 5-6 pm Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. June/July.

August - Discovery Holiday Park, Cloncurry Qld.
'Happy Hour' 4.30 to 5.30 Tuesday 1st - Sunday 6th
Post Office Caravan Park, Barkly Highway, Camooweal 07 4748 2124
'Happy Hour' 5.00 - 6.15  Tuesday 22nd - Thursday 24th
(Lead up to the Drovers' Camp Festival 25th - 27th August)

Gregory NorthGregory North - Winton Qld
Nightly at 7 pm at Matilda Country Tourist Park, 43 Chirnside Street Winton Qld.
3-course dinner available at 6pm for $24 each.
Now until Father's Day (3 September).

Vale Lynden Baxter

Lynden BaxterRespected ABPA bush poet Lynden Baxter from Monto Queensland passed away in Bundaberg on 23rd June.

Lynden was the 2016 Clancy's Choice overall male winner at the Man From Snowy River Festival in Corryong Victoria on his first visit to that festival. He was also 2015 Queensland Male Bush Poetry Performance Champion at the Bundy Muster, and is in fact still the holder of that title. He and his faithful dog Dusty were well known to many.

North Pine Bush Poets member John Best wrote, "Lynden was a great bloke, wonderful writer and performer and will be sadly missed by all who were lucky enough to meet him."

He will be sorely missed and our sympathy is with his family.

A graveside service was held on Saturday 1st July at the Monto Cemetery.