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
2015 ABPA Committee
- ABPA Committee
President - Hal Pritchard
Vice President - Manfred Vijars
Secretary - Brenda Joy Pritchard
Treasurer - Gregory North
- Committee Members
- ABPA State Delegates
Qld - Wally Finch
NSW - Tom McIllveen
Vic - Jan Lewis
Tas - Philip Rush
SA - Bob Magor
WA - Irene Conner
- Magazine Editor - Neil McArthur
Webmaster - Gregory North
President's Report, Feb-Mar.As presented at the Annual General Meeting:
Throughout 2014 we said goodbye to many of our long term and valued members and it was with great sadness that our losses continued when we learnt that Frank Daniel’s brave battle with illness ended when he died on 22nd December, 2014. The whole bush poetry community went into mourning for one of its finest sons. Many members have expressed their personal sorrow and have sent condolences to Frank’s family. We join in tribute to the man we all respected and admired.
Thank You to the Outgoing Committee
Although I have thanked the Committee Members throughout 2014, it is essential that I do so again. The 2014 ABPA Committee worked tirelessly on a voluntary, unpaid basis, towards the interests of the ABPA and its members. Their commitment to service was further demonstrated by the fact that the four 2014 ABPA State Championships were either organised by or judged by Committee Members. The ABPA has been fortunate in having such a dedicated team working co-operatively together for the betterment of all.
The job of getting the ABPA into order is on-going with considerations needing to be put towards its financial state and the fulfilment of its outreaching objectives, but if the 2015 Committee perform their function as efficiently and willingly as the outgoing Committee has done, our ABPA has a bright future ahead.
Major 2014 Achievements
ABPA Competition Package
The aims of the 2014 Committee have been to get our house in order and set up the infrastructure for the ABPA to go ahead into the future as the major body to preserve and expand the wonderful, Australian cultural tradition of storytelling through rhyme and metered poetry and yarn spinning.
Formally, we needed to have a competition package that we could offer to all organisers conducting State and National Championships financially contributed to by the ABPA. This has been achieved. The hope is that this package will also be adopted by organisers not operating under the auspices of the ABPA. The aim is for uniformity of judging in performance and written bush poetry competitions throughout Australia.
The ABPA Website with its capable and enthusiastic webmaster, Gregory North, has flourished throughout 2014. Special thanks must go to Greg for his initiatives and skilful implementations of so many informative and interesting aspects. I also commend Brenda Joy for the extensive work she puts in collecting and archiving the Award winning poetry , and also collecting and editing the website features ‘Meet a Poet’, ‘Thank you to Co-ordinators’ and ‘Member Achievements’ and again to Greg for his skill in presenting these communicative features.
Thanks also go to Maureen Clifford for the very attractive Facebook pages and for sharing bush poetry through the well-presented on-line magazine The Australia Times and to Manfred Vijars and the team of facilitators for the successful running of the ABPA Forum. All members are urged to take advantage of the interactive opportunities of this network.
Thank you to Neil Macarthur and those who assisted him, in particular we are in debt to Frank Daniel, for his initiative and presentation of the anniversary supplements in 2014. Neil is also to be commended for his thematic collections. It is heartening to see that members have responded to Neil’s request for submissions and it is to be hoped they continue to send in their contributions of poetry and items of interest in particular towards any further commemorative ANZAC tributes which Neil will be presenting in 2015. The magazine belongs to its members and relies on your input.
Promoting Bush Poetry
In particular throughout 2014, initiatives have been undertaken towards promoting bush poetry at both ends of the age spectrum. Some of us have been concentrating on the ‘grey nomad’ population whilst others have been focussing on the young through presentations in schools and
youth events. The future of the ABPA relies on the support of the current over 50 population and on the generation of interest in the under 18 population. We thank everyone who has put their efforts into endeavours in these two significant age regions.
The ABPA and other website outlets, offer the general public a wealth of free information relative to bush poetry events and festivals throughout Australia. It is desirable that these outlets continue to be vibrant sources to arouse interest in our genre, but it is also hopeful that once the interest has been generated, seekers will wish to also become members of the ABPA. Without membership we cannot financially support the endeavours we wish to undertake.
A new promotional brochure has been produced with a membership form backing. We hope that you will avail yourself of this brochure through the Treasurer or the Secretary and help to promulgate the benefits of ABPA membership.
Bush Poetry in Tamworth
Tamworth is one of the venues where bush poetry is both appreciated and supported. To help people inside and outside the ABPA to know where bush poetry is held during the Country Music Festival, we issued the bush poetry information sheet as a guide. Also this year we have tried to expand St.Edward’s Hall as the meeting place for all bush poets and supporters at the festival. For members in particular, we have organised the get-together/fund raising concert and I thank Tom McIlveen as St.Edward’s Hall co-ordinator and Geoffrey Graham, Pat Drummond, Ray Essery and Gregory North for their input towards making this event a highlight of the Tamworth calendar.
Bush Poetry Australia-wide
As we travelled around Australia, even in the remotest parts of our country, there was always someone who had seen or heard of some of our wonderful ABPA performance bush poets. Also, in the most unlikely venues we found books by ABPA writers. Interest in Bush Poetry is growing through the conjoint endeavours of ABPA members and we thank each and every one of you for helping to expand awareness and interest in both the ABPA and in Bush Poetry in general.
I wish you all a healthy, happy and successful 2015.
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 web-site (and forum) also a bi-monthly magazine of Bush Poetry news, events, results of written and spoken competitions as well as publishing contemporary bush poetry. Many members have books, CDs and other products. These can be advertised in the magazine. For rates, click here.
Check out our Facebook page.
Competition Package is now available with guidelines, judging and competition sheets, accredited judges list and application form and approved competitions list. If found necessary, these documents are open to amendment or changes as required following membership input and committee approval.
Roll of Honour lists Australian Bush Poetry Champions and ABPA Executive members since inception. There are also tributes to members who have recently passed on.
Frank Daniel Encouragement Award
the passing of great bush poetry mate Frank Daniel on 22nd December
2014, his daughter Catherine has offered to donate a large perpetual
trophy that can be engraved each year with the winner’s name (and held
for a year) and a smaller trophy that the winner can keep as an
encouragement (not a best) award in memory of Frank Daniel.
Complying with Catherine’s wishes, it has been negotiated with her that this award be presented to an up and coming junior poet at a selected ABPA National or State Championship each year.
ABPA President Hal Pritchard expressed the ABPA’s gratitude to Catherine Daniel and advised her that the inaugural Frank Daniel Encouragement Award will be given at the Australian Bush Poetry National Championships in Corryong in April. Catherine will be going to the ABPA Nationals which adds the wonderful bonus that she will be able to present the award herself to the initial recipient.
Frank Daniel’s involvement with bush poetry was both long-term and active. As an inaugural member of the ABPA, over many years he fulfilled the demanding administrative roles of President, Vice President and Magazine Editor. Frank assisted with the running of various bush poetry festivals and gained much personal success in competitions as a performing bush poet and yarn spinner.
In addition, Frank worked tirelessly for many charities and fund raising organisations and performed at community events around Canowindra where he spent his latter years. He was a much loved member of that region of NSW.
Last year Frank compiled the monthly insert for the ABPA Magazine promoting the achievements of other long-term members of our Association. We now pay tribute to Frank’s own achievements and to the man we all respected and admired.
See more information on Frank on the previously featured poets page.
Frank's funeral was held in Canowindra on 29th December, 2014.
Meet a Poet – David Campbell
- we are introducing our wonderful poets (both performers and
writers) to newcomers and to the general public by featuring a
different ABPA poet on the Website each month. Poets
will come from the entire membership and may be professionals,
semi-professionals or amateurs, but each will be a worthy role model to
represent the ABPA membership.
David Campbell discovered the bush poetry world in 2002 when he won the Boree Log award with some C. J. Dennis-style verse called It’s Bloody ’Ard Ter Be A Bloke! That win re-vitalised an interest in rhyming verse that had previously only manifested itself in occasional pieces written for friends and work colleagues… and proved to be the first of many successes in the years since. His current CV includes bush poetry’s major competitions, some of them more than once, and in January 2014 he was particularly delighted to take out both Poem of the Year (The White Man’s Way) and Book of the Year (Riders on the Wind) at the Australian Bush Laureate Awards in Tamworth.
An unusual aspect of David’s writing is his background in education as a teacher of senior mathematics and English, a fairly rare combination. So the logic of mathematics is married to a love of language, thus combining the discipline necessary for metre and rhyme with the sheer joy of playing with words.
That love of language has also seen him diversifying into other areas of writing, with awards for short stories and free verse as well as numerous articles published in a variety of newspapers and magazines. This, in turn, has resulted in workshop presentations at which he tries to foster an appreciation for the links between the various genres. One of David’s particular interests is promoting the use of rhyming verse as a powerful medium for tackling contemporary issues so that it can better attract the attention of younger generations and provide a strong counterbalance to the considerable popularity of free verse. He believes that, while preserving the traditions established by our early poets, it is important to move with the times.
David has edited a bush verse anthology for Melbourne Books, contributed to three books of children’s poetry, produced a book of original short stories, and published two books of his own bush poetry (with accompanying CDs), details of which can be found on his website.
See previously featured poets.
Meet Your Committee – Gregory North
Each month we will introduce a member or members of our hard working and dedicated committee.
This month we meet:
TREASURER and WEBMASTER Gregory North
Encountering his first bush poets in 2003 was a life-changing event for Greg. He was extremely fortunate that those poets were Denis Kevans, Milton Taylor, Terry Regan and Brian Bell - all wonderful writers and performers. How could anyone fail to be imprerssed? Soon afterwards he became friends with many other poets like the great Frank Daniel. With their encouragement, Greg went on to become male Australian champion three times in a row.
He realises the importance of giving back to the organisation that helped him meet poets and win awards. Serving as Secretary in 2010 and 2011, he took over the Treasurer's role with the failing health of Kym Eitel in 2013.
Greg manages to make a living from performing bush poetry and you can see more information on his website.
Member Achievements – Murray Hartin
ABPA also wishes to acknowledge the achievements of members who
specialise in specific areas which help to promote the cause of the
ABPA and of Bush Poetry in general.
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENTS – Murray Hartin
Murray Hartin has been part of the Australian Bush Poetry and entertainment scene since first stumbling into - and winning - the inaugural Tamworth Poetry Competition at the 1987 Country Music Festival. The victory led to a career in journalism and then, in 1996, he took the bold step to become a full-time poet.
Along the way he was part of the evolution of the Poets’ Breakfasts at The Longyard, featured on that group’s first cassette and with Marco Gliori staged the Festival’s first night-time poetry concerts in a very hot little church in the early ’90s which in turn morphed into ‘The Naked Poets’ – the madcap group that went on to record five CDs and perform to thousands of people over a 13-year period.
Thirteen years with The Naked Poets –“… well, it certainly hasn’t done me any harm. And we are all still great mates. We released a Double Best of The Naked Poets album last year that is the pick of the five Naked Poets albums – lots of fun.”
A three-time Golden Gumleaf winner for Recorded Performance of the Year and two for Book of the Year, Muz makes his living as a professional entertainer, performing guest speaking roles and MC duties at corporate functions, sporting lunches, charities dinners and festivals across the country. For the last four years, at the Tamworth Country Music Festival Muz has been part of the team ‘The Four Funny Buggers’.
Murray’s yarn Turbulence is the most recited, most requested and most played poetic work in recent memory and in 2007 his stunning poem Rain From Nowhere touched the hearts of people Australia-wide. The emotional distance between these two poems is as wide as Muz’s repertoire and gives an indication there is more to this Moree-born knockabout than meets the eye.
But to Muz, it’s all about performance. “The only reason you’re there is because of the audience. You have to send out energy to them which they then chew up and throw back at you via laughter or applause.”
Muz has two CDs, Muz! and The Tater Slater Caper plus a DVD, Bigger Than God’s Undies, plus his new book A Whole Lotta Muz,, a combination of poems and newspaper columns, which are all available on his website.
See previously featured achievers.