Muse News

How it all Started

How do you become a Bush Poet? Well it all started way back in the early Nineties. My wife & I and a couple of friends had followed Pat Drummond up to the Australian Bush Music Festival at Glen Innes, NSW, blissfully unaware of the existence of Bush Poetry as a performance medium. Staggering into the Railway Hotel one afternoon in need of liquid sustenance we were confronted with one of the most bizarre sights we had ever seen.


The Pub was thick with cigarette smoke and full of partying "folkies". Upon the bar stood three hefty middle aged men reciting doggerel verse to the drunken masses. I was enthralled. These strange fellows were indeed, Aussie Bush Poets plying their trade. As we walked from the pub my wife turned to me and said "You want to do this don't you?" "Bloody Oath I do!" came my reply.


Within a couple of years I had worked up the courage to read a poem on stage at a "Poets Breakfast" and by the late Nineties I was being hired to perform in my own right.


Since then my life has been completely transformed. Poetry obsesses my every waking hour, and spare time, when available is consumed by research, writing and learning new work.


Bush Poetry has taken me all over the Country, broadening my horizons about "Terra Australis" and its wonderfully colourful citizens & characters.


 
2017 BREAKING NEWS...........


 

“A good way to begin”

 Royal Brisbane Show

The “Ekka”

Bush Poetry Competition 2017

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Every year, come August, ‘Bushies’, ‘Cattleman’, ‘Drovers’ & ‘Farmhands’ from all over Australia descend on the “Exhibition Grounds” of Queensland’s Capital city, Brisbane. They bring with them a wide variety of animals such as sheep, pigs, cattle, horses, goats as well as more domesticated creatures like canines, cats, chickens & birds along with a stunning range of produce and horticulture.

 Why do they do this? For the simple love of competing against their fellow countrymen and showcasing their very obvious pride in what it is that they do for a living. As we all know, farming is the backbone of our great nation and is a mainstay of the Australian economy.

 Since the very first “Royal Queensland Show” in 1876 these competitors have been the founding cornerstone of the State’s biggest annual event. At the very first exhibition 140 years ago 1,700 entries were received in 650 classes competing for trophies, cash & prizes with the largest prize worth 25 guineas (or $44.00 in today’s currency).

 This year (in comparison) there were approx. 21,000 entries in 11,000 classes over 42 competition sections with a total prize pool of more than $530,000.00. It is estimated that over the last 140 years that over 30 million people have passed through the gates of this iconic event.

 As well as showcasing the best livestock, the “Ekka” (as it is affectionately known), is also renowned for its wide range of culinary delights. No, I’m not talking “Cheese on a Stick” here (Mmm, but it was nice), but rather a bevvy of samples sourced from the Royal Queensland Food & Wine Show Medal Winners.

 Everything from sumptuous mouth-watering grain fed steak to fine cheeses, seafood & desserts could be washed down with a high-quality range of local red & white wines and boutique beer. Sounds appealing? It was!

 Talking of competitions (as we are) let’s not forget what led us to the gates of this years “Ekka” in the first place. Bush Poetry. You got it!

 This year’s Bush Poetry Performance competition (sponsored by ‘The Consultancy Bureau’ & ‘The Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame’) was again held in the newly opened “Museum” precinct of the Show site. As a matter of fact, as show patrons filed through the entry gates the Bush Poetry stage was the first thing they saw and heard as they entered the grounds. What an Australian welcome that must have provided!

 2 Adult sections are held as part of the competition proper. The “Original” section & the “Established” section. Males and Females compete together and this year over 30 of the nation’s most versatile versifiers ‘strutted their stuff’ for the esteemed judges.

 Carmel Wooding continued her winning ways (as she did in 2016) by taking out ‘First Place’ in both sections this year. Her performing skills are obviously ‘second to none’. A performer ‘par excellence’ if ever there was one.

 “The Rhymer from Ryde” also featured prominently in the winner’s circle with a Second place in the “Original” section and a Third place in the “Established” section.

 Graeme’s poem in the “Original” section was entitled “A good way to begin”. “It was (as it turns out) a great way to begin my participation in this years ‘Ekka’” Graeme said afterwards. “I’ve been coming up to the show for 17 years now to perform with Trisha Anderson’s ‘Poetry Troupe’ and both the competition and performing around the showgrounds are the highlight of my performing year”.

 “A good way to begin” was actually written pre-2010 and was included in that year’s double CD release “Home Brew” (although until 2017 had never been performed “Live” so to speak). The poem tells of Graeme’s ‘Luddite’ tendencies when it comes to advancements in new technology and the frustration that they cause him. “I think (as a society) that technology’s leading us in a fairly perilous direction from which there is no return” Graeme quipped.

“Technology is de-humanising us and causing us to become insular and isolated within ourselves rather than reaching out to simply talk and interact with one another as ordinary human beings. I think technology is causing us to lose sight of our objectives and lose track of our ideals and moral grounding”.

 The poem that Graeme performed in the “Established” section was called “The Grey” by QLD author Rita Diplock. Graeme had actually judged Rita’s poem during the course of this years “Man from Snowy River” Festival in Corryong Victoria (see report below) and met her at the same event. “The Grey” is a wonderfully emotional and powerful poem that tells how the intervention of fate into a certain circumstance can change the lives of those concerned.

 As mentioned earlier Graeme’s other participation in this year’s entertainment schedule was performing with Trisha Anderson’s troupe of artists. Trisha has been conducting these shows for 21 years now and they are a great testament to her unwavering love of the spoken word and its ability to reach out and touch her fellow Australians. It is also a way of preserving and recording our country’s history through the ‘rhyme & metre’ of traditional ‘Bush Verse’.

 The Showground sites “Urban Modification’ refurbishment continues and this year (due to its imposition into areas typically occupied by the Show itself) proved to make things a little bit ‘squeezy’ for all concerned. Still you can’t beat the sights. smells and sounds of your typical country fair as you weave your way through the milling crowds jealously guarding your showbags whilst shoving another ‘Dagwood Foot Long Dog’ down your gullet.

 See ya next year Show lovers for more of the same!

   

Original Placegetters
1st: Carmel Wooding
2nd: Graeme Johnson
3rd: Peter Fraser

Established Placegetters
1st: Carmel Wooding
2nd: Suzanne Honour
3rd: Graeme Johnson

   
   
   
   
   
Archived News 2017......
 

National Folk Festival 2017

Fri 14th - Mon 17th April 2017

 Report

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Each year they come from all corners of the country, an eclectic mix of people of all ages, races and varying backgrounds with the sole common purpose of immersing themselves in everything this iconic event has to offer. They form that year’s National Folk Festival Community. One that has been growing steadily since the event was founded way back in 1967. Yes, some 51 years ago this year.

 The National Folk Festival has a proud history of presenting world class music, poetry, dance, circus related activities along with practical teaching workshops, market & craft stalls and a wide range of foodstuffs from around the globe and this year was certainly no different.

 Prior to settling at the National Exhibition Grounds in Canberra the Festival had spent some time circulating around the country between the states but as time passed this became somewhat financially unviable and the event settled down to live its life in the National Capital.

 This year’s programme contained a veritable ‘Pandora’s Box’ of spoken word treasures as well. These included themed shows by Geoffrey .W. Graham (including “Voices of War” & “Three Bards & Me”), Me ‘N’ Me Mates spoke of “Yarns that were Told”, David Hallet covered off on a “Century of Australian Poetry” whilst a “Pot Pourri of Poetry” continued the tradition of throwing all kinds of verse into a great big melting to pot to see what would happen. Oh, there were plenty of other shows too, I just can’t remember them all!

 The National always provides an interesting mix of City & Bush Poets and this year was no exception.

 Representing the Bush Poetry fraternity were Chris McGinty, Geoffrey .W. Graham, Laurie McDonald (the Poetry Co-ordinator for the event) Peter Mace, Rhonda Tallnash, “The Rhymer from Ryde”, Stephen Whiteside & Maggie Somerville. Speaking on behalf of the ‘Free Versers’ were CJ. Bowerbird, CJ. Shaw, David Hallet, Sandra Renew and friends.

 Four “Poet’s Breakfasts” were held over the course of the Easter Long Weekend and they were literally ‘bursting at the seams with eager poetic types lining up to get a go on the ‘Flute ‘N’ Fiddle’ stage. Diversity was definitely the ‘name of the game’ as this was not your typical ‘family oriented’ Bush Poets type of turnout. Lewd and lascivious poetry of a ribald nature abounded and ‘freedom of expression’ and ‘strong’ language was certainly the norm. However, it was all done in the spirit of entertainment and the feeling of the moment as all good verse should be.

 Last year’s “Reciter of the Year”, Chris McGinty was on hand for the duration to cast his eyes over prospective candidates for this year’s crown and with 25-30 poets stepping up to the microphone each day Chris really had his work cut out for him. As it transpired septuagenarian poet “Leno” from Nimbin triumphed to take out the title in a well-deserved win.

 A Yarnspinning competition was also held at the “Stockcamp” venue judged by last year’s “Yarnspinner of the Year”, Rhonda Tallnash. The year’s Champion “Bullshit Artist” was CJ. Shaw from Canberra. (CJ used to run the “Shut the Folk Up” Folk Club in Erskenville Sydney). CJ’s yarn was a very visceral tale about the hi-jinx that butchers get up to with meat when there’s no-one much around.

 A highlight of the weekend in terms of poetic presentation was the “Bush V’s the Rest” “Poetry Slam” held in the carnival atmosphere of the “Majestic” marquee.

 

“Bush V’s the Rest” Poetry Slam Report

 “Bush is Best: Forget the Rest-Bush WINS again!”

 

“Bush V’s the Rest” is an annual poetry battle that pits 4 ‘Bush Poets’ against 4 ‘Open’ or ‘Free Verse’ poets (however you’d like to categorise them) in a ‘no holds barred’ ‘free for all’ of verbiage to see who holds the ‘upper hand’ in the versifying stakes. The two teams square off in front of a raucous crowd baying for blood (or an occasional laugh instead). Judges were appointed from the crowd (to maintain impartiality) and are often known to be influenced (one way or another) by the occasional bribe or schooner of beer.

On the day it was the “Bush Brigade” of Laurie McDonald, Rhonda Tallnash, Peter Mace & “The Rhymer from Ryde” that triumphed, proving once again that ‘rhyme & metre’ rules the world when it comes to expressing oneself. Either that or they offered better bribes, we’ll never know.

“The Rest” were championed by CJ. Bowerbird and friends but fell short of taking home the prize. Better luck next year guys!

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
 

Victorian Bush Poetry Championships-Thurs 30th March - Sun 2nd April 2017

 Incorporating the Man from Snowy River Festival-Corryong, Victoria

 Report & Results

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“Where Legends Ride” ran the slogan for the “Man from Snowy River Bush Festival’ in 2017, the 21st Festival of that same name to be held over the last 23 years in the quaint little town of Corryong, Victoria, nestled at the base of the mighty ‘Snowy Mountains’ in the heart of the Murray Valley.

 In 1995 a local was asked “if they could create an event which truly reflected what the “Man from Snowy River” poem meant to our Australian horsemen & women”. The result, some 13 weeks later, was the inaugural “Man from Snowy River Challenge” won by Bill Willoughby, a well-known horseman from SA.

 From those humble beginnings, the “Man from Snowy River Bush Festival” has grown into an event that encompasses a diverse range of activities such as a Rodeo, ‘Riley’s Ride’, Cattle Dog Championships, Whip Cracking & Bullock Droving Displays, Country Rock Bands, “Man from Snowy River” re-enactments, Line Dancing, a Ute Muster, Strong Man & Woman competitions, a Historic Machinery Show, Photography and Art exhibitions, Bush Markets, Street Parades, Moonlight Movies and a whole lot more.

 The “Man from Snowy River Challenge” itself has developed into an event that consists of six preliminary events including stock handling, saddle bag packing, whip cracking, bareback riding, horseshoeing & cross-country riding. Make it through to the finals and then you’re faced with 2 more ultimate challenges, the “Brumby Catch” & the “Stocksaddle Buckjump”. Definitely not for the faint hearted.

 The pre-cursor to the Festival proper is ‘Riley’s Ride’ where 50 riders set out on a 4-day trail ride from Tom Groggan Station to Corryong itself. ‘Riley’s Ride’ commemorates Jack Riley’s life and lauds the efforts of those who sought to rescue him under harsh and trying conditions. As ‘Riley’s Riders’ arrive at Thowgla a vivid re-enactment of the action of Paterson’s immortal poem comes to life and the poem itself is recited to the masses.

 Later that night at “Banjo’s Block” the “Man from Snowy River Recitation” competition is held and that is followed by a veritable feast of ‘Australiana’ as Bush Poets from all over the country arrive to compete for the Victorian Bush Poetry Championships, a performance competition that is one of the most prestigious State Titles in the land.

 Indeed “Banjo’s Block” is the central meeting place for weary drovers and stockmen, interested locals and visitors, the occasional lost cattle dog and poets’ eager to ‘spin a yarn’ or ‘tell a tale’ to anyone who saunters by. Many a late-night session can be enjoyed around the crackling fire as the wafting smoke mingles with the aroma of ‘Billy Tea’ from the pot. Pull up a log or a stump, bring your own camp chair (or whatever) and be warmed by both the genuine camaraderie and heat of the bush bonfire as it sizzles through the night.

 Those who make it through the night are then treated to a more formal “Poet’s Breakfast” (starting at 8.00 am) run by “The Rhymer from Ryde” and his road trip companion Matthew Hollis. Matthew Hollis is a ‘Coach Captain’

of renown (for Murray’s Coaches) whose extensive knowledge of Australia has been painstakingly collected over his last 30 years on the road, travelling the highways & byways of this ‘Great Southern Land’. There’s not much Matthew doesn’t know about Australia and where his gaps of knowledge are evident, Matthew is more than happy to fill in the blanks with liberal amounts of well-constructed ‘bullshit’ and outright lies. A very entertaining bloke indeed.

 The “Poet’s Breakfasts” themselves are ‘walk-up’ affairs where everybody is encouraged to ‘have a go’. By simply adding your name to the burgeoning list you can take to the stage for your ‘5 minutes of fame’ and prattle on about whatever it is that’s on your mind. Perform or read a poem, tell a joke or relate a ‘life’s story’ recollection if that’s what you want to do. It’s an ‘open mike’ and the attending crowds have voracious appetites for all forms of versification.

 Once the Poets have had a chance to ‘warm up’ at the Breakfast then it’s .’into the fray’ of the battle as the competition heats begin in the comfortable confines of the “Lions Youth Hall”.

 The Competition Championships are divided into 4 main sections (they being Modern, Classical, Original Serious & Original Comedy) and are further divided into Male & Female sections within these categories. In addition to this there is also a ‘Yarnspinning’ competition, a 1 minute “Poetry Challenge” and sections for Novice & Intermediate level performers. There is also an extensive Junior Level performance competition held involving schools from the local area.

 It is not uncommon to see audiences sit for hours in their seats completely entranced by the engrossing and engaging nature of the emotive performances presented. This is Bush Poetry at its best as seasoned professionals and amateurs alike open their hearts to what it is that touches them in the hope that it will touch you too.

 Writers of Bush Verse are also celebrated with the presentation of the “Silver Brumby Award” for serious verse and the “Corryong Larrikin Award” for comedic verse. These events are judged pre-festival and their results are incorporated with those of the performance sections at the end of the event.

 Senior Judge for this year’s Performance and Written competitions was none other than “The Rhymer from Ryde” who has been the ‘Head Judge’ in residence since 2012, casting his eyes & organisational skills over 2 x Australian, 3 x Victorian and 1 x standard “Man from Snowy River” competitions.

 Graeme was joined on the judging panel this year by ABPA accredited judges Robyn Sykes and Carol Reffold (for both the written and performance sections). Judges for other sections included Rhonda Tallnash, Maurie Foun, Noel Bull & John Peel.

 Head Collator for the Championships was once again Mick Coventry who was assisted in his duties by Barbara Williams. Ian McDonald & Tom O’Connor.

 Timekeeping duties were carries out by Lisa Ride, Mick Davies, Tim Shead, Ken Prato & Anne Bull.

 Our “Featured Mc & Guest Poet of Note” was the wonderful Laurie McDonald from Canberra who kindly stepped in at a moment’s notice when ‘Dingoes Breakfast’ had to withdraw due to various difficulties.

 Not all the Bush Poetry was confined to the Youth Hall & “Banjo’s Block” however. The annual ‘Anzac Memorial’ concert was held in the local RSL Club Hall and commemorated with reverence the sacrifice of our fallen soldiers through verse song. A very moving concert indeed! 

Modern day Banjo Paterson, Geoffrey. W. Graham also took ‘poetry to the people’ performing solo shows & teaming up with the ‘Wimmera Girls” at the Entertainment Marquee down in the Showgrounds.

 The “Bottom Pub” also continued the fine tradition of supporting the spoken word by presenting the annual “Meet & Greet” concert with the poets in a marquee behind the premises on the Thursday night.

 Of course, none of these times would have been had if not for the ceaseless and untiring efforts of the event’s Poetry Convenor, Jan Lewis and her hardy band of volunteers. Hip Hip Hooray I say to them all!!! Heaps of meetings, untold hours on the telephone, countless hours in front of the computer and all the physical ‘hands on’ side of things when it actually comes around to the weekend itself, this tireless troupe of poetry supporters toiled away ‘behind the scenes’ (without anyone even realising it) so that the event could flow like clockwork. Once again, a big ‘Thank You’ to Jan Lewis. What a marvel she is!

 I know, I know, I know. Enough of this ‘waffle’. You want to know the results, right? Well here they are.



 


 


 
Victorian Bush Poetry Championships 2017 - Performance Competition Results
   

Classical Male
1st: Tom O’Connor
2nd: Ken Potter
3rd: Ken Tough
HC: John Davis
HC: Ralph Scrivens

Classical Female
1st: Christine Boult
2nd: Kathy Vallance
3rd: Rhonda Tallnash
HC: Julie Morris
HC: Margaret Beechey


Modern Male

1st: Tom O’Connor
2nd: Ken Tough
3rd: Ralph Scrivens
HC: John Peel
HC: John Davis

Modern Female
1st: Christine Boult
2nd: Kathy Vallance
3rd: Rhonda Tallnash
HC: Jenny Markwell
HC: Julie Morris




Original Serious Male
1st: Ken Tough
2nd: Ralph Scrivens
3rd: John Peel
HC: Ken Potter
HC: John Davis

Original Serious Female
1st: Rhonda Tallnash
2nd: Christine Boult
3rd: Julie Morris
HC: Christa Dwyer
HC: Kathy Vallance

Original Comedy Male
1st: Ken Tough
2nd: Ken Potter
3
rd: John Peel
HC: Ross Vallance
HC: Ralph Scrivens

Original Comedy Female
1st: Rhonda Tallnash
2nd: Kathy Vallance
3rd: Christine Boult
HC: Jenny Markwell
HC: Julie Morris

Overall Male Champion
“Clancy’s Choice” Award
1st: Ken Tough
2nd: Ken Potter



Overall Female Champion
“Matilda” Award
1st: Rhonda Tallnash
2nd: Christine Boult



Open Yarnspinning
1st: Rhonda Tallnash
2nd: Mick Coventry
3rd: Don McQueen
HC: John Davis
HC: Tim Shead


Novice Champion
1st: Christa Dwyer
2nd: Don Dwyer
3rd: Margaret Beechey




Intermediate Champion
1st: Judy Boyd
2nd: John Raine



Man from Snowy River Recitation
1st: Ken Tough
2nd: Rhonda Tallnash
3rd: Ralph Scrivens


Jack Riley Heritage Award: Rhonda Tallnash


Lawrie Sheridan Encouragement Award: John Davis


Senior’s Encouragement Award: Rita Diplock

Jan Lewis Encouragement Award: Mary French

   
 

Victorian Bush Poetry Championships 2017-Written Competition Results

 

Written Serious Poem

“Silver Brumby” Award
1st: Tom McIlveen
2nd: Tom McIlveen
3rd: Rhonda Tallnash
HC: Tom McIlveen
HC: Helen Harvey

 Highest Scoring Novice Serious Poem
Rita Diplock

 Written Comedy Poem
“Corryong Larrikin” Award
1st: Brenda Joy
2nd: Tom McIlveen
3rd: Tom McIlveen
HC: Brenda Joy
HC: Shelley Hansen

Highest Scoring Novice Comedy Poem
Pamela Fox

Overall Adult Written Champion
Tom McIlveen

Overall Novice Written Champion
Rita Diplock

 Victorian Bush Poetry & Music Association Awards 2017
Topscoring Victorian Performance Female:
Rhonda Tallnash
Topscoring Victorian Performance Male:
Colin Carrington
Topscoring Victorian Yarnspinner:
Rhonda Tallnash
Topscoring Victorian Written Poem:
Rhonda Tallnash
Topscoring Victorian Written Novice Poem:
Julie Morris

 

Victorian Bush Championships 2017-Jumior Performance Competition Results

 Prep-Grade 2
No Entries

 Grades 3-4
1st: Charlotte Findlay
2nd: Jack Jarvis
3rd: Thomas Shipman
HC: Isobel Costello
HC: Carmen Lee

Grades 5-6
1st: Kaylin Handley
2nd: Amelia Lappin
3rd: Nicola Costello

 Primary: “Spirit of Mateship”
1st: Regan Nugent

 Lisa Ride Encouragement Award
Kaylin Handley/ Jack Jarvis

 Bush Costume Award
Kaylin Handley

 Victorian Bush Championships 2017-Jumior Written Competition Results

 Prep-Grade 2
1st: Sienna Moore
2nd: Tess Paton
3rd: Will Klippel
HC: Angus Edwards
HC: Jock Paton
HC: Lauren Zimmer

 Grades 3-4
1st: Isobel Costello
2nd: Jessica Martin
3rd: Lena Babu
HC: Angel Grabasch
HC: Claire Noonan

 Grades 5-6
No Entries

 
   

ABPA “Golden Damper” Bush Poetry Awards 2017

Finals & Heats – Report & Results

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The highly renowned and prestigious “ABPA Golden Damper Awards” Bush Poetry Performance Competition was held again this January during the staging of the 45th Annual Tamworth Country Music Festival 2017.

 This was the 31st staging of the “ABPA Golden Damper Awards” that had their humble and inauspicious beginnings way back in 1987 at the famous “Longyard Hotel”. Since then the awards have had 4 permanent homes including the Imperial Hotel and West’s Leagues (and even a 1-year stint in the car park of Kentucky Fried Chicken). This year the awards were held at the Tamworth Rugby Club (in Marius Street Tamworth) for the very first time. The Australian Bush Poets Association Inc. has run the event for the last 5 years under the very capable hands of Co-ordinator Graeme Johnson, aka “The Rhymer from Ryde”.

 Three days of heats were held on Tues 24th, Thurs 26th & Fri 27th January leading up to the Finals that were held on Sat 28th January in said Rugby Club.

 Some of the country’s most astute judges (themselves accredited by the Australian Bush Poets Association) had the very difficult task of assessing some 18 different performances during the course of each heat that ranged from Original to Established works (including both comedic and serious verse). Males and Females were pitted against one another in the ‘cut-throat’ nature of the competition which seemed to bring out the best in each group of dedicated artists.

 The competitors this year were an interesting mix of seasoned professionals (and regulars to the fray) who were joined by a swag of new faces that provided an entertaining and lively mix of styles for the crowds of eager fans.

 The Rugby Club was filled to capacity on most occasions as punters got in early for their favourite seats to cheer on their preferred poets and hopefully influence the judges with their wild applause and laughter. As a matter of fact, people were turned away for the Finals on the Saturday as the Rugby Club had reached its seating capacity limit.

 Special congratulations are in order for Claire Reynolds for Gloucester in NSW for ‘scooping the pool’ in both sections this year (a feat that has only been achieved on 3 other occasions in the events history). Well done Claire from one and all!

 Sadly, it was Co-ordinator Graeme Johnson’s last year at the helm of this event as he has temporarily shifted his focus to other areas of his life. He wishes future Co-ordinator’s continued success with the competition and all the best of luck in the future.

 

Established Finalists

Bob ‘Pa’ Kettle
Jacqui Warnock
Paddy O’Brien
Claire Reynolds
Bill Gordon
Rhonda Tallnash
Tom McIlveen
Caroline Tuohey
Mal Beveridge

Established Placegetters

1st: Claire Reynolds
2nd: Jacqui Warnock
3rd: Rhonda Tallnash

 

Original Finalists
Jacqui Warnock
Paddy O’Brien
Jenny Campbell
Claire Reynolds
Rhonda Tallnash
John Peel
Tom McIlveen
Bob ‘Pa’ Kettle
Caroline Tuohey

Original Placegetters
1st: Claire Reynolds
2nd: John Peel
3rd: Rhonda Tallnash

 
 
 
 

The Tamworth Country Music Festival 2017
"
The Rhymer's Roundup Wrap-up"

What happened where and when
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Well the first thing that has to happen before we even get to the third week of January (when all the good times begin) is all the promotional activity that has to occur to ensure your venue has an even chance of being noticed in all the ‘hurly burly’ advertising madness that engulfs Peel St & surrounding districts in the weeks before the Festival.

 This means at least a week spent in town (pre-Festival) to do an assortment of ‘odd-jobs’ that are very much a ‘hands on affair’ when it comes to getting things done.

 First up is the late night torch waving, balaclava lead ‘poster run’ up and down both sides of the entire length of Peel Street where you endeavour to plaster anything that isn’t nailed down with the images of your particular event. Not a job to be taken lightly as it is a job that has to be repeated about a week later when you find that all your previous hard work has been covered over by some other enterprising entrepreneur whose layered his work over the top of yours. “All’s fair in love and war” as they say.

 Then it’s time to don the ‘meet and greet’ face as you re-introduce yourself to all managers of the various Caravan Parks, ‘pop-up’ campsites and regulation campgrounds (that blanket the Tamworth landscape) begging for a space on their advertising ‘Wall of Fame’ to put up another poster (that hopefully won’t get plastered over and actually last till the end of the Country Music Festival). Oh and don’t forget to beg for some space to lay out your advertising flyers too!

 Keep a hold of that happy smiling face and gregarious personality too because your real works only just about to begin.

Yes, it’s the arduous trek (in 40  heat ) along every by-way and dusty track that traverse the lengthy laneways of vast tracks of land (such as the Carter Street Campgrounds) to hand out some more flyers to the happy campers busily erecting their tents and preparing their living spaces for the busy weeks ahead. Indeed, apart from the heat and files and the excessive heat and flies and the lack of hydrating ports, a truly marvellous experience indeed, meeting and talking to your fellow ‘Aussie’s’ in their natural environment.

 The final stage of proceedings is usually erecting some overly large and gaudy vinyl banners that will hopefully stop traffic in its tracks (without actually causing an accident) and direct a steady flow of ‘punters’ into your respective venue.

 What next?...well hey, that’s when the fun starts because all the hard work that you’ve just sweated your way through gives way to the truly important part of the “Tamworth experience” and that’s getting up onstage to actually perform.

 So on to the “Rhymer’s Roundup Wrap-Up” for 2017.

 And so it was that on the morning of Fri the 20th January 2017 that various cars, utes, motorbikes, bicycles, skateboards, motorised scooters, motor homes and buses began arriving outside the North Tamworth Bowling Club (on the corner of Bligh & Piper Streets Tamworth) in readiness for the 5th instalment of the very popular “Rhymer’s Roundup” series of Bush Poetry Shows. For the next 6 days scenes of unmitigated traffic chaos were reported to the local constabulary as eager bush poetry devotees jostled for the best parking spots so as not to miss the action happening inside.

 The ‘Brunch Time’ timeslot of 10.30 am -12.30 pm is one that the public has been enjoying for the last 5 years as have the poets who no longer have to get up at some god forsaksen time to sprout their words of wisdom through the medium of bush verse. It’s a nice little ‘sleep in’ for all concerned followed by and early morning ‘get-together’ around the altar of ‘Bush Poetry’.

 And why wouldn’t you want to come inside and enjoy the friendliest Bowling Club in town with all its wonderful facilities. An air-conditioned auditorium that ranks right up there with the best available. Comfy seating and all modern amenities with a bistro menu that is the envy of many small businesses in town.

Oh, and of course, a wide range of local and imported beers and wine to suit all tastes. And if that isn’t enough to ‘wet your whistle’ then there’s 6 of the most entertaining Bush Poets around just waiting to share their stagecraft with you in this wonderful little venue.

 Talking of Poet’s as we were, well let’s get to it and give you a bit of an idea exactly what it was that they got up to from the 20th -25th January 2017 at the ‘Bowlo’.

 Joining the “Rhymer’ this year were stalwarts Gregory North, Rhonda Tallnash, John Peel, Noel Bull and the very special guest (for the second year running) , Country Music Megastar Mr. Patrick Drummond. Together this scruffy lot of rhymin’ rascals had the audiences begging for more as they waxed loquacious about all sorts of subject matter in the manner only first class bull-shit artists can.

 The “Rhymer” more than held his own with these other luminaries whilst debuting some of his newer comedic yarns such as “Chatterbox” ( a train travelling dilemma about being stuck behind two very verbose seniors on a very length rail journey) & “If it’s FREE, I want it” (about Graeme’s penchant for collecting ‘freebies’ of every possible variety and the ensuing dramas that that caused) along with a very touching poem about the anniversary of his father’s passing called “Have you seen my Dad?” and a stirringly patriotic piece entitled “That’s Australia” along with many other amusing ‘ditties’.

 Gregory ‘Man of many Hats’ North (from Linden in the beautiful Blue Mountains of Sydney) was again the ‘star attraction’ of the day with his predilection for poems that truly embraced the weird, bizarre and unusual side of life. (Hmmm, Linden must be one hell of a strange suburb, that’s for sure). Topics embraced such challenging subject matter as unusual bodily functions as those that have the unfortunate job of treating such maladies, the truth behind this Gregory North bloke-a somewhat autobiographical tome, the problem with young people today and old age and the trepidation that it brings. As well as these gems Greg always finishes the show with Banjo Paterson’s “Man from Snowy River” poem that he does in 14 different accents (Greg’s signature piece and much loved by all-even after you’ve heard it a hundred times or more!)

 Rhonda Tallnash, (the current Female Australian Bush Poetry Champion) did her home town of Violet Town (Vic) proud with another series of sterling performances that were, all in all second to none.

 As well as showcasing her flair for the comedic with hits such as “The Wrapper” (regarding a case of mistaken job identity and overcoming unseen adversities) Rhonda also gave some very vivid descriptions of a local house of ‘ill repute and the hilarious results of trying to staff the same in a small country town. Her award winning poem “The Shirt” was also well received (telling of a shell-shocked soldier’s return home and his disassociation with his wife).

 John Peel (from Tumut in NSW - buoyed by his recent venture into fatherhood) was also very much ‘on-song’ with his time on stage and wasn’t ‘backward in coming forward’ in getting his point across to the enthralled crowds. Often known to spontaneously burst into song (mid-verse) John’s distinctive style makes him a crowd favourite wherever he goes.

 Noel ‘Raging Bull’ (from Musk in VIC) once again managed to drag himself away from his farming duties to do one of his rare performance spots as part of the “Roundup”. One of the highlights of Noel’s set was his new piece on the dilemmas of old age and a case of mistaken identity that had Noel joined on stage by a very sexy mannequin and Noel dropping to  his knees to perform CPR on same. He had the audiences in howls of laughter at his ‘seen to be believed’ antics. Noel’s a real trouper with a great passion for performing that he does with great ‘gusto’ and volume.

 Then of course there were the highly engaging sing-a-longs from “Uncle Pat”, Patrick Drummond Esquire, that were liberally scattered throughout the programme. Pat’s ability to see things from the perspective of your average “Aussie” bloke means that the audience forms a familiar bond with his songs as soon as they seem to hear them and are only too happy to join in when given the opportunity. Pat’s intriguing insights and 30 years of experience ‘on the road’ (collecting stories on some very unforgettable Australian characters) has given him a wealth of material on which to draw from and were the perfect counterpoint to the bush verse being spun around them. Pat also showcased some of the material from his latest release “Late Final Extra-Tales from the Travelling Years” like “Spirit of Endeavour”, “Brothers on the Road”, “In like Flynn” and the “Phillip Song”.

 Makes you wish you’d been to Tamworth doesn’t it? Well if you did miss out, never fear, because “The Rhymer’s Roundup” returns for its 6th big year in January 2018 with an expanded 10 day format to accommodate the burgeoning crowds that just can’t get enough rhyming verse.

 (Again, for those that did miss out please check out the photographic panorama below. There’s some nice shots there believe me!)

 Ps. We also had a very special guest (for one day only) in the shape of one of country’s music’s finest artists Steve Passfield. Thanks Steve for joining us and becoming the ‘honorary’ 13th member of the troupe (over the years).

 

 
   
   
   
   

 

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 

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2016 ARCHIVED NEWS
"Back to the Future"
Royal Brisbane Show
Bush Poetry Competition 2016
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Every year in the middle of August the Exhibition Grounds in the heart of Brisbane transform themselves into the “Ekka”, the Royal Brisbane Show (now in its’ 139th year) and this year was certainly no different.

 The bright lights of the City hosted Country folk (and their animals) from all over Australia from Friday the 5th until Sunday the 14th attracting more than 21,00 entries across 13,000 classes in 48 competition sections.

 From the beginning competitions have remained at the heart of the show, initially highlighting the agricultural and pastoral excellence of our hard working farmers from the bush. These areas of competition broadened over the intervening years to include such varied exhibitors as Photography, Painting & Drawing, Creative Art & Craft, Cookery, Fashion, Bush Poetry and much much more.

 Indeed this years’ Bush Poetry Competition (sponsored by The Consultancy Bureau and the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame) was held on the first Saturday of the event on the newly constructed ‘Flower & Garden Stage’ in the precincts of the ‘Old Museum’ grounds which had been incorporated into the ‘Ekka’ site for the first time in 119 years.

 Walking through the immaculately kept grounds of the ‘Old Museum’ visitors passed the Heritage Water Fountain, the ‘Sculpture Walk’, the ‘Secret Fairy Garden’ and the ‘Ekka’ ‘Love Tree’ before they came to the place where it was all happening, the ‘Flower & Garden Stage’.

 2 Adult Sections were held, the ‘Original’ Section & the ‘Established’ Section. (See results below)

 Carmel Wooding continued her form from 2016 taking out First Place in both sections with some sterling and powerful performances.

 The “Rhymer from Ryde” gave it his best shot (as he always does) and came up with a Second Place in the Original Section with a poem entitled “Have you seen my Dad” (a poem written in 1996 after the passing of his father, Jim).

 “I hadn’t performed the poem for nearly 20 years” said Graeme “and I felt much more comfortable doing the poem now as a tribute to Dad rather than the draining experience of writing the piece in that very sorrowful time all those years ago”.

 Graeme’s entry in the Established Section “Rhymin’ Bill from Broken Hill” (by Peter Willey & Mathew Hobbs) was a rollicking ‘tongue in cheek’ poem about not taking yourself too seriously as a performer.

 “Again, I hadn’t done this poem for many many years” continued Graeme “and when I was searching through my papers to find the poem about Dad I re-discovered ‘Rhymin’ Bill’ and thought ‘that’s a laugh’ why not do 2 old poems for the competition this year instead!” “After those results I’m glad I did”.

 Other Adult placegetters included Paddy O’Brien, Ken Dean & Amy Bradfield.

 After the excitement of the morning competition Trisha Anderson led her merry troupe of Bush Poetry reprobates to the ‘Sheep Shearing’ Stage (near the Animal Nursery) where the Bush Poetry performances continued for the rest of the “Ekka”. As a matter of fact Trisha and her poets have been gracing stages at the Show for 20 years now and each and every day 2-3 ‘top notch’ poets from all around Australia ‘strut their stuff’ for the assembled throngs. (That’s ‘throngs’ not ‘thongs’).

 The Showground site is currently in the middle of a decade long ‘Urban Modification’ process that will see the entire site transformed into a residential village & parklands that will incorporate all the popular and iconic Showground heritage buildings & arena’s into the overall future plan.

 For the moment though the site is still fairly recognisable as the Showgrounds of old and the wafting smell of the cattle stalls still mingled in the air with the alluring odour of ‘Chips on a Stick’ & ‘Fairy Floss’ as you fought your way through the crowds to your next destination. Damn those ‘Sample Bags’ are getting heavy these days too!

 See ya next year folks for ‘all the fun of the fair’ at the 140th Royal Brisbane Show’!

 

Original

1st: Carmel Wooding

2nd: Graeme Johnson

3rd: Paddy O'Brien

 

Established

1st: Carmel Wooding

2nd: Amy Bradfield

3rd: Ken Dean

   
   


Victorian Bush Poetry Championships 2016
Incorporating the Man from Snowy River Festival-Corryong, Victoria-
Thurs 31st March - Sun 3rd April 2016
Report & Results
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120 kilometres east of Albury-Wodonga on the Murray Valley Highway (in the Shire of Towong) sits the bustling country town of Corryong (Pop 1440 approx.) Nestled close to the upper reaches of the Murray River its commerce is basically Beef & Dairy farming and Forestry industries.

However once a year in late March/early April the town sheds it’s quiet & quaint exterior to turn into a bustling metropolis of activity as something in the vicinity of 5000 visitors invade the town for 4 days of “True Blue” Australiana activities the like you’ve never seen.

The Primary focus of the Festival is the “Stockman’s Challenge” an annual event designed to find that years modern “Man from Snowy River” equivalent. In addition to this event the “Man from Snowy River” Festival is also an important showcase for the world of “Bush Poetry”. Its annual Bush Poetry competition is held in high regard by versifiers from all over the country, who in turn are all vying for the opportunity to be crowned the next or modern, ‘Banjo Paterson’.

If that’s ‘wet your whistle’ for more then hang around. Further to the events described above there is “Riley’s Ride” (a 4 day trail ride through the breathtaking & rugged countryside from Tom Groggan station to Corryong culminating in a visit to Jack Riley’s grave in the Corryong cemetery), the Man from Snowy River Rodeo, Cattle Dog Championships, Whip cracking, a Ute Muster, Markets, Country & Rock music, an Art & Photographic display and much, much more. As a matter of fact too much to see on a single visit so you’ll just have to keep coming back to view the entire gamut of entertainment available at this magnificent event.

But, back to the Bush Poetry, ‘cause that’s why we’re looking at this website after all.

‘Banjo’s Block’ is the appropriately titled block of land that forms the basis for all things poetic. Located on the corner of Strzelecki Way and Donaldson Street Corryong this is where you’ll discover the continual camaraderie of the roaring log fire and all night sing-a-longs and recitations. Snuggle up in your ‘DrizaBone’, grab a warm cup of coffee and be transported back to the olden days through the authentic yarns & stories spun by ‘fair-dinkum’ bushmen and swaggies. Oh yeah, we let the ‘city slickers’ ‘have a go’ as well.

Mornings at ‘Banjo’s Block’ see the crisp mountain air welcome the “Poet’s Breakfast” sessions run by “The Rhymer from Ryde” and his companion in crime, Mr. Matthew Hollis (a man whose knowledge of all things Australian has been borne from 20 years on the road as a Driver for Murrays Coaches). What Matthew doesn’t know, he’ll make up. That’s why he’s been a former ‘Australian Yarn Spinning Champion’. 3 mornings in a row the ‘walk-up’ format of these shows showcases the talents of a wide range of poets from the very young to the very old, from the novice to the professional. This interesting mix surely keeps the audiences on their toes as no-one is ever really sure what’s coming up next.

Most of the poets on hand use the opportunity for an early morning recitation to ready themselves (in practise) for the various heats of the competition that are invariably to follow.

This year’s Victorian Bush Poetry Championships absorbed the normal Man from Snowy River competition and had sections such as Traditional, Modern, Original Serious & Original Comedy that formed the basis for the Overall Championship Titles. Other sections of competition held were the ‘Man from Snowy River’ recitation, the Novice & Intermediate sections as well as the Yarnspinning section itself. There is also a ‘One Minute’ competition held and an extensive junior section covering a wide spectrum of age & ability groupings on the Thursday of the event. Something for everybody as they say!

Senior judge for this year’s Performance & Written competitions was “The Rhymer from Ryde” himself who has been the “Head Judge” in residence since 2013 casting his watchful eye and organisational skills over 2 x Australian &  2 x Victorian Championships and one Man from Snowy River competition.

Joined on the Judging Panel this year by ABPA accredited judges Robyn Sykes & Carol Reffold the “Rhymer” & his highly skilled crew were also ably assisted (in other judging duties) by Robin Christmas, Rhonda Tallnash, Maurie Foun, Colin Driscoll & John Peel.

Head Collator for the event was once again Mick Coventry who was assisted by Trisha Anderson, Tom O’Connor, John Peel, Graeme Johnson and Ian McDonald.

Timekeeping duties were carried out by Ian McDonald, Bob Winnett, Harry Reed & Lyndon Baxter.

Our “Featured” Mc & ‘Guest Poet of Note’ for the weekend was Victorian Bush Poet, Colin Driscoll.

In addition to the competition and the breakfasts there is also the annual ‘Anzac’ concert in the RSL Hall, as well as special featured & themed presentations (at various venues around the town) by our modern Banjo Paterson, Mr. Geoffrey.W. Graham. Geoffrey was accompanied this year by “Lazy Harry” Stephens & Trevor Best.

The “:Bottom Pub” otherwise known as the Corryong Hotel also hosts the Thursday night “Poets Meet & Greet” held this year (for the first time) in a 100 seater marquee set behind the Hotel itself. Away from the noisy hustle and bustle of the Pub itself Bush Poets had an opportunity to preview their skills to the assembled throng and a wonderfully friendly night of fun & laughter was shared by one and all.

Writers of Bush Verse were welcomed with open arms as well as prior to the weekend itself the “Silver Brumby” award for serious written verse and the “Corryong Larrikin” award for comedic written verse were also decided.

Of course none of this would have been possible without the input of the Poetry Convenor, Jan Lewis and her eager band on volunteers. Working quietly behind the scenes Jan is very much the community liaison for the event, working with local schools to encourage participation in the Junior competition and organising the “Schedule of events” for the Bush Poetry competition itself. Jan is owed a great ‘debt of gratitude’ by anyone who enjoys any part of the poetic side of the festival as it simply wouldn’t happen without her.

So now (after all that chat) I suppose you’d like to know the results. Well here they are.

 

Victorian Bush Poetry Championships 2016 - Performance Competition Results

 
 

Classical Male

 1st: Tom O'Connor

2nd: Lynden Baxter

3rd: John Peel

HC: Barry Tiffin

HC: Travis Johnson

 

Classical Female

1st: Sue Pearce

2nd: Rhonda Tallnash

3rd: Kathy Vallance

HC: Jenny Markwell

HC: Robyn Christmas

   
   

Modern Male

 1st: Lynden Baxter

2nd: Tom O'Connor

3rd: Barry Tiffen

HC: John Peel

HC: Bill Gordon

 

Modern Female

1st: Sue Pearce

2nd: Rhonda Tallnash

3rd: Robyn Christmas

HC: Jenny Markwell

HC: Kathy Vallance

   

Original Serious Male

1st: Lynden Baxter
2nd: John Peel

3rd: Barry Tiffen

HC: Harry Reed

HC: Bill Gordon

 

Original Serious Female

1st: Rhonda Tallnash

2nd: Jenny Markwell

3rd: Sue Pearce

HC: Christa Dwyer

HC: Kathy Vallance

   
   

Original Comedy Male

1st: John Peel
2nd: John Davis
3rd: Harry Reed

HC: Barry Tiffen

HC: Lynden Baxter

 

Original Comedy Female

1st: Sue Pearce
2nd: Kathy Vallance
3rd: Rhonda Tallnash
HC: Jenny Markwell

HC: Lisa Ride

   
   

Overall Male Champion

Clanch's Choice Award

1st: Lynden Baxter
2nd: John Peel

 

Overall Female Champion

Matilda Award

1st: Sue Pearce
2nd: Rhonda Tallnash

   
   

Open Yarnspinning

1st: Rhonda Tallnash
2nd: Matthew Hollis
3rd: Mick Coventry

HC: Robyn Christmas

HC: Betty Walton

 

Novice Champion

1st: Ian McDonald
2nd: Ross Vallance
3rd: Margaret Beechey

HC: Jack Leahy

HC: David Taylor

   
   

Intermediate Champion

1st: Julie Morris
2nd: Judy Boyd
3rd: Travis Johnson

 

Man from Snowy River Recitation

1st: Barry Tiffen
2nd: John Davis
3rd: Rhonda Tallnash

   
   
 

Special Awards

Jack Riley Heritage Award: Rhonda Tallnash

One Minute Poem: Kaylin Handley

Lawrie Sheridan Encouragement Award: Lisa Ride

Senior's Encouragement Awards: Ruth Davis

Jan Lewis Encouragement Award: Christa Dwyer

 

   
   

Victorian Bush Poetry Championships 2016 - Written Competition Results

Written Serious Poem

Silver Brumby Award

 1st: Brenda Joy

2nd: Brenda Joy

3rd: Tom McIlveen

HC: Brenda Joy

HC: Tom McIlveen

 

Written Comedy Poem

Corryong Larrikin Award

1st: Tom McIlveen

2nd: Jan Bentley

3rd: Tom McIlveen

HC: Brenda Joy

HC: Beryl Stirling

Highest Scoring Novice Serious Poem

 Des Bennett

 

Highest Scoring Novice Comedy Poem

Jan Bentley

Overall Adult Written Champion

 Brenda Joy

 

Overall Novice Written Champion

Des Bennett

 
 
Victorian Bush Poetry Championships 2016 - Junior Performance Competition Results

Prep 2

 1st: Charlotte Findlay

 

Grade 5-6

1st: Molly Murphy

2nd: Kaylin Handley

3rd: Sophie Dunoon

Primary: "Spirit of Mateship"

 1st: Sophie Dunoon

 

Lisa Ride Encouragement Award

Charlotte Findlay

   
Victorian Bush Poetry Championships 2016 - Junior Written Competition Results

Prep - Grade 2

 1st: Daniel Shipman

2nd: Darby Whitehead

3rd: Lewis Costello

 

Grade 3-4

1st: Joseph Houston

2nd: Thomas Shipman

3rd: Claire Noonan

Grade 5-6

 1st: Madison McKimmie

2nd: Nicola Costello

3rd: Lachlan Vandervalk

 

Ancillary Awards

Best Costume Award

Charlotte Findlay

Kaylin Handley

Finlay Pinkster

 
Victorian Bush Poetry & Music Association Awards 2016
Topscoring Victorian Performance Female:  Rhonda Tallnash
Topscoring Victorian Written Female: Jan Bentley





See you next year Corryong......
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Rhymer’s trip a ‘Voyage’ worthwhile

Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival 2016- Report & Results

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The 18th annual Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival was held between the 3rd-6th March this year in the town of the same name tucked away between Mudgee & Dubbo in the Central Western NSW Shire of the Warrumbungles. (its name is derived from the local aboriginal dialect for ‘swan’ of which there are many in the district).

It was the “Rhymer’s” 10th consecutive visit to this event and it one of the favourites on his Bush Poetry calendar as it is for many of the nation’s Bush Poets who ‘hitch up the wagons’ and make the yearly pilgrimage from all parts of this ‘wide brown land’ to this scenic little destination.

The running of the annual event has for many years now been the responsibility of the “Dunedoo & District Development Group Inc.” headed by its Poetry Co-ordinator, Eric Beer and his team of local volunteers. (Yes, what as surname!) Eric has a deep love of the land (being a farmer himself) and has long been an admirer of the ‘spoken word’ genre.

Sadly one of the Festivals’ major sponsors Peter Fallon from Personal Wealth Management  Pty Ltd had passed away as the result of a motorbike accident some weeks before the Festival and was sorely missed by his many poetic friends. However (by way of an appropriately placed photograph beside the stage) Peter’s smiling countenance looked over the school’s auditorium stage and poetic proceedings as if he had never been away.

Judges Sandra Nicholson, Brenda Joy & Hal Pritchard (current ABPA Vice President) had the unenviable task of judging the assembled reciters and toiled away ceaselessly at their task for the entire weekend. Who’d be a judge then hey? Compere Des Kelly (from Gulgong) kept the crowds amused with his never ending string of bad jokes (only kidding) and performed many musical items in Saturday night’s closing concert as did Brenda Joy.

The “Rhymer” once again stepped into the winners circle at Dunedoo garnering a First place in the Original Serious section and a Third place in the Traditional section.

His entry in the Original Serious section was a poem called “The Voyage” a gritty piece about the rugged & dehumanising nature of convict transportation and the loved ones that were left behind. His entry in the Traditional section was a poem by the master himself, Henry Lawson, entitled “The Old Jimmy Woodser”. (A “Jimmy Woodser” was a derogatory term referring to a man who drank alone).

 
 

Contemporary Male

 1st: Bob 'Pa' Kettle

2nd: Jim Lamb

3rd: Max Pringle

HC: Don Clarey

 

Traditional Male

1st: Bob 'Pa' Kettle

2nd: Terry Regan
3rd: Graeme Johnson
HC: Max Pringle

   

'The Old Jimmy Woodser'

 

 

'The Old Jimmy Woodser'

 

 

 
   

Original Serious Male

 1st: Graeme Johnson

2nd: Terry Regan

3rd: Max Pringle

HC: John Seers

 

Original Comedy Male

 1st: Terry Regan

2nd: Max Pringle

3rd: Bob 'Pa' Kettle

HC: Don Clarey

 

   
'The Voyage' 'The Voyage' presentation

 

Overall Male Champion

1st: Terry Regan

 

 

Contemporary Female

 1st: Rhonda Tallnash

2nd: Cay Ellem

3rd: Jacqui Warnock

HC: Heather Searles

 

Traditional Female

 1st: Rhonda Tallnash

2nd: Heather Searles

3rd: Jacqui Warnock

HC: Lois Sanders

 

Original Serious Female

 1st: Rhonda Tallnash

2nd: Jenny Markwell

3rd: Heather Searles

HC: Jacqui Warnock

 

Original Comedy Female

 1st: Jenny Markwell

2nd: Cay Ellem

3rd: Rhonda Tallnash

HC: Jacqui Warnock

 

Overall Female Champion

1st: Rhonda Tallnash

 

 
 

ABPA “Golden Damper” Bush Poetry Awards 2016

Finals & Heats – Report & Results

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One of Bush Poetry’s “Showcase” events was once again held during the Tamworth Country Music Festival 2016 at West’s Leagues Club.

Three days of heats were held on Tues 19th, Thurs 21st & Fri 22nd (in the Club’s “Outback Bar”) culminating in the pageantry and spectacle of the Finals that were held in “Blazes” auditorium on Sat the 23rd January.

The Awards have been held @ West’s Leagues Club since 2005 and have produced 24 “Golden Damper” trophy winners since then. The “Golden Damper” awards are one of the premier performance competitions in the country and have been run under the auspices of the Australian Bush Poets Association for the last 4 years.

Prior to that (1987-2012) the awards were run by the Tamworth Poetry Reading Group and began at the Longyard Hotel in 1987 before moving to the Imperial Hotel in 1989 where they were conducted until 2004.

The “ABPA Golden Damper Awards” 2016 saw 25 individual contestants compete over three days of heats in both the Original & Established (Modern or Traditional) sections. On a daily basis 3 finalists were chosen from the Original section and 2 finalists from the Established section to compete in Saturday’s Finals. That gave us 9 overall competitors in the Original section and 6 overall competitors in the Established section once the Finals rolled around on Sat 23rd.

Come the Saturday and the atmosphere in “Blazes” auditorium was electric. The crowd ‘buzzed’ with anticipation & the adrenalin surging through the veins of the contestants was almost palpable. The hushed silence that greeted each competitor’s pre-amble soon gave way to gales of laughter or thoughtful silence as the audience revelled in the storytelling skills of the versifiers.

Judges sat glued to their seats as the valiantly searched the judging sheets for ways to separate one contestant’s score from another. Believe me, it wasn’t easy! Once the ‘smoke had settled’ the judges had indeed selected a top three performers in each section. (For all the photos & results please see below).

 

 


Original Finalists

 Lance Lawrence

Max Pringle

Claire Reynolds

Garry Lowe

Rhonda Tallnash

John Peel

Tom McIlveen

Bob 'Pa' Kettle

Caroline Tuohey

Established Finalists

 Cay Ellem

Claire Reynolds

 Jason Roweth

Sue Pearce

Lyn Tarring

Tom McIlveen

   

Combined Group Finalists

 

 

Combined Group Finalists

 

 

   
Trophy Table Winners McIlveen, & Roweth with Gordon

 

Original Placegetters

 1st: Tom McIlveen

2nd: Garry Lowe

3rd: Caroline Tuohey

 

Established Placegetters

 1st: Jason Roweth

2nd: Sue Pearce

3rd: Cay Ellem

 

   

 
 

The Tamworth Country Music Festival 2016

“The Rhymer’s Roundup Wrap-up”

What happened where and when

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In early January anyone driving through the intersection of Bligh & Piper Streets North Tamworth became aware of the fact that in a few short weeks time their local Bowling Club was going to be invaded by a ‘rag-tag’ bunch of shady looking individuals that called themselves “Bush Poets”. How did they know? From the two huge banners that had just been affixed to the fences of said premises that were boldly advertising the fact.

Yes, it was nearly time for the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival and the return of the “Rhymer’s Roundup”.

Stretching over 5 metres long and 1.5 metres high the banners bore the ‘mug shots’ of this band of merry reprobates in sizes large enough to scare away the neighbourhood children and cause the occasional traffic accident. There they were in all their glory, “The Rhymer from Ryde” himself along with the other members of his troupe, Rhonda Tallnash, Gregory North, John Peel, Noel Bull and the very special guest, Country Music Superstar Mr. Pat Drummond.

And indeed, every morning between the 15th and the 20th of January this year (between the very respectable hours of 10.30 am until approx. 1.00 pm) the North Tamworth Bowling Club (located on the corner of Bligh and Piper Streets) was transformed into wonderland of wonderful words (second to none) as the “Rhymer’s Roundup” took to the stage to transport their eager audiences into raptures of delight as they espoused the virtues of the “Aussie” bush and the ethos of our Australian character through verse & song.

This was the 4th instalment of the “Rhymer’s Roundup” residency at the North Tamworth Bowling Club having ‘kicked off’ there way back in 2013. The best ‘little bowlo’ in town has a range of facilities second to none including plenty of ‘on-street’ parking, air-conditioned auditorium, comfortable seating, modern sound system, top class meals and a wide range of icy cold beers and beverages. Why wouldn’t you go there?

The “Rhymer” once again held the reins of this tremendously talented troupe and was no slouch himself when it came to ‘treading the boards’ holding the crowds spellbound with his titillating tales of the beautiful blonde next door, domestic disputes and the subsequent near demolition of his semi-detached house in Sydney, “Bob” the troublesome Beagle and some more sorrowful tales such as the rigours of convict transportation.

Rhonda Tallnash (the current Australian Female Bush Poetry Champion) flew the flag for the fairer sex as the only female member of the group and let it be known early on that she was no mere pushover. Holding her own with the other ‘blokes’ Rhonda reeled of her riotous rhymes regarding such topics as belching fridges, the right time to pass away during the night, her dislike of football and the true story behind the Ned Kelly legend.

John Peel (the Karaoke Kid) continued to amaze audiences with his rich and melodic voice and when not bursting into song actually did some excellent bush verse. John’s answer to the “Man from Snowy River” “The Bloke from Brindabella” received avid applause as did his other ditties that talked of subject matter such as romance for the older set, exploding grain silos that rocket into space & being at one with nature.

Noel “Raging” Bull managed to keep his clothes on most of the time long enough to burst into some inspiring verse regarding iconic “Aussie” stockmen, our indigenous history and the overabundance of plastic shopping bags and managed to keep the decibels levels of his performances just below those of an approaching aircraft. He also managed to go overtime most of the time but as nobody really cared we just let him have his head.

Not to forget the unforgettable Mr. Gregory North (our main ‘Featured Poet’ so to speak). Greg has been with us from the start and he’s definitely the glue that holds everything together. Greg’s many poetic ‘alter egos’ manifested themselves on stage in the form of a disagreeable old Granny, a flatulating schoolboy, a ‘nerdy’ scientific type and a Cicada that gets dismembered mid poem(not for the squeamish). You’ve got to ‘see it to believe it’ as they say!

Oops! Hang on a minute I nearly forgot “Uncle Pat”, Mr. Patrick Drummond esquire, who joined us as our very very special musical guest.

Deciding it was time to ‘change things up a bit’ the “Rhymer’s Roundup” this year enlisted the services of one of Australia’s finest singer/songwriters Pat Drummond to add his considerable talent to the team in the manner that only Pat Drummond can. Insightful and challenging lyricism, memorable tunes & ‘charisma’ to boot, Pat was a firm favourite of each and every audience. His tunes like “Alfred Bremmer’s Organ”, “If I die before Keith Richards”, “The Sao Song”-(complete with a Sao jamming demonstration), “The Toilet Paper Line Dance”, “Marilyn Monroe was a Size 14” & “Working for the R.T.A.” amongst a swag of others had the punters tapping their feet and singing along like there was no tomorrow.

Sorry you missed it all? Well...never fear! We did manage to capture a fair bit of it on camera so if you’re brave enough and over the age of 18 there’s some vision below that might give you a laugh.

Ps. We also had a very special extra guest for one day only in the form of one of the country’s finest folk artists Jason Roweth. Normally performing with his wife Chloe, Jason joined us a ‘solo’ performer to regale us with some “Aussie” sing-a-long classics and well crafted original songs. Thanks Jason!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Some Special Snaps

 
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"The Rhymer's Roundup"

Special Featured Artist 2016

Pat Drummond

 

Pat’s career began with his spectacular stints as Sydney’s ‘King of the Hill’ in the anarchic ‘sing-a-long’ uni/bar/pub scene of the late 1970’s. His 10 year Fri night residency at Sydney’s Rest Hotel was a ‘rite of passage’ and the pub saw well over 300,000 fans pass through its’ doors over that time. The night before the Hotel’s demolition in the mid eighties saw Pat’s final gig at the venue attract 2000 punters to the pub (which only had a capacity of 350). It was utter chaos as traffic in the surrounding streets was brought to a standstill.

 Always theatrical it was only natural that Pat’s next project was the 1986 Rock Opera; “SkoolDaze” which saw Pat and his 6 piece rock band decked out in short pants and school uniforms re-living the heady days of his & our youths.

 Shortly after the demise of the “SkoolDaze” project long time friend Roger Corbett invited Pat to become a member of the re-vised Bushwackers Band and shortly after that enterprise Pat formed a duo with John Schumann (of Redgum fame).

 With the release of “Tales from the local Rag” in 1990 Pat adopted the onstage persona of a 1940’s newspaperman as the reporter for his fictional paper ‘The Local Rag’. Whilst touring the country he interviewed people he met in his travels, fellow Australians that captured something special about our national character and ethos. These lucky people became the subject of songs on this & subsequent albums.

 By 1998 Pat’s long standing interest in the Spoken Word led to what was to be a massively successful association with the “Naked Poets” troupe, a gathering of 5 of Bush Poetry’s most prominent comedic performers. With sales in the tens of thousands nationally their 5 albums would have been a significant release for any major Australian label but for Pat & his Independent record company ‘Shoestring’ it was an overwhelming success.

The runaway sales of these albums at a retail level greatly expanded ‘Shoestring’s operations and led to the radical development of its roster. By 2005 the company had 73 albums on its books and was representing 10 artists (including “The Rhymer from Ryde”) and supplying 600 record shops across Australia.

 Meanwhile Pat’s immersion in commercial country had shifted his song writing style again to link up with vocalist Karen Lynne in the genre of country duets etc. which led to many successful releases and awards as well.

 In 2001, restless yet again, Pat created an astonishing bi-polar theatrical metamorphosis into his “Chess Set” characters. One who wore white, the other who wore black. Men who saw life from diametrically different viewpoints. It was Pat’s most challenging drama yet.

 Come 2008 and Pat had linked up with former buddies Tony Williams & Chris O’Leary to form the 3 piece comedy outfit “The Bar-B-Q Kings” and were immediately signed to ABC/Universal.

 When will he stop? Well Pat says this “It’s all about never stopping, always changing & growing older creatively”.

 Pat’s current shows feature music from all of his previous incarnations and a splendid and challenging time is guaranteed for all. Bring your brain, your voices and your foot tappin’ shoes. You’ll need them all!

 

"Partners in Crhyme"

Special Feature 2016

Gregory North & Graeme Johnson

When not busy with their other respective projects “The Man of Many Hats” & “The Rhymer from Ryde” combine in these very special Bush Poetry presentations called “Partners in Crhyme”. Catchy name hey? Greg thought of it amongst a host of others mostly not repeatable here.

 With their penchant for dressing up and doing incredibly silly and self deprecating things on stage Greg & Graeme seem like a natural fit together performing Bush Verse on the same programme.

 No-one in the audience is safe as Greg & Graeme often leave the confines of the stage looking for willing victims to participate in their on stage escapades.

 Like a party in your own backyard you’ll feel ‘right at home’ in the audience for these shows as you split your sides laughing at Greg & Graeme’s hilarious antics.

 Tell your friends, tell your neighbours, tell the bloke next to you at the pub or the group you share your evening barbeque with as there’s only ONE of these shows being held at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in 2016. Make sure you don’t miss it!





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2015 ARCHIVED NEWS

 

“Rhymer’s Doin’ OK!”

Royal Brisbane Show

Bush Poetry Competition 2015

 

The “Rhymer from Ryde” continued his winning ways at the “Ekka” recently during the staging of the annual Royal Brisbane Show Bush Poetry Competition sponsored by the Australian Stockman’s ‘Hall of Fame’.

 Graeme picked up 2nd place in the Established section of the competition with a poem by Milton Taylor called “You’re Doin’ OK” which talks about ‘keeping your chin up’ when things are getting you down. With Milton’s passing at the end of 2014 Graeme had wanted to do one of Milton’s poems as a tribute to him and everything that he had contributed to the Bush Poetry genre.

 In Graeme’s 15th years performing at the “Ekka” he’s only missed out on a prize ribbon on a few occasions so he was particularly honoured to pick up a guernsey this year with one of Milton’s poems.

 “I hadn’t performed the poem for about 10 years or so actually” said Graeme “so I thought that it was about time that I dusted it off and gave it another run”.

 Professional as Graeme’s performance was it wasn’t strong enough to beat Carmel Wooding who ‘cleaned house’ winning both sections of the competition. (See results below). Carmel’s young children also added to the families ‘prize larder’ with a win and a third in the Junior competition sections.

 Other adult placegetters included “Pa” Kettle, Paddy O’Brien and Geraldine King.

 Graeme’s entry in the Original Section of the competition was a poem called “The Currency Kids” a historically based poem on the first generation of white children born on Australian soil back in the early colonial days.

 Due to the ongoing nature of the renovations on the Showground site this years’ competition sadly had to say farewell to our favourite stage in the John Reid Pavilion which was promptly replaced by the competition’s new home on the ‘Education Stage’ in the magnificent brand new Conference Centre.

 As well as the competition on the first Saturday of the show Trisha Anderson’s Poetry Troupe was also busy ‘around the grounds’ performing 4 times a day on the “Sheep Shearing Stage” in the Animal Pavilion.

 Yes the barnyard setting of the Animal Pavilion was perfect for the presentation of Bush Verse as the recitations were neatly placed in between exhibitions of sheep shearing and educational demonstrations that were held for schoolchildren and adults alike.

 Indeed the site’s massive urban modification expansion plans had displaced many exhibitors from their traditional homes and it was quite an exciting challenge to find all your old favourites in their new locations around the precinct.

 Still the grand traditions of the show continued unabated and once again the glitter of sideshow alley met the ‘dust of the bush’ with a ‘Dagwood Dog’ thrown in for good measure. See ya next year!

 

 

Royal Brisbane Show Bush Poetry Competition

Results 2015

Original

1ST: Carmel Wooding

2nd: Geraldine King

3rd: Paddy O’Brien

Established

1ST: Carmel Wooding

2nd: Graeme Johnson

3rd: ‘Pa’ Kettle

   

Junior (Under 12 years)

1ST: James Wooding

2nd: Sarah Isbester

3rd: William Wooding

Junior (Under 12-17 years)

1ST: Emily Bradfield

2nd: James Kleen

 

Overall Champion

1ST: Carmel Wooding

 
 
 
2015 News Continued

Australian Bush Poetry Championships 2015

Corryong, Victoria Thu 9th-Sun 12th April 2015 - Report & Results

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 Campfires roared, horses whinnied, stockwhips cracked, music played, yarns were spun, poems recited, friendships forged & beers were drunk....and that was only on the first night of “The Man from Snowy River” Festival 2015.

 Host this year to the Australian Bush Poetry Association’s “Australian Bush Poetry Championships” the “Man from Snowy River” Festival epitomises all things ‘Bush’ as mountain men and versifiers join forces to showcase their skills to the waiting public.

 Corryong swells to many times its normal size as Bush Poets, Stockmen, Muso’s, Car enthusiasts, Photographers, Artists and others mill about ‘doing what they do best’ in venues scattered around the town. The town centre traditionally is home to the markets, Art & Photographic displays, The Lions Youth Hall hosts the Bush Poetry competition and the local Showground comes alive to the thills & spills of the “Stockman’s Challenge” an event whose purpose is to discover this year’s modern equivalent of the famous “Man from Snowy River”. 

Early mornings on “Banjo’s Block” brings the Bush Poets to the fore and 3 Poets Breakfast were held on the Fri, Sat & Sun mornings of the event ably Mc’d by “The Rhymer from Ryde” and Bus Driver extraordinaire Mr. Mathew Hollis from QLD. The Bush Poetry is so popular in Corryong that quite often not all names on the daily list got a turn so poets were actually lining up before the starting time to make sure they got to have their say. No more sleeping in for the poets that’s for sure!

 The Poets Brekky’s were followed every day by the various Australian Bush Poetry Championship Competition Performance Section Heats. Those sections being Modern, Classical, Original Serious & Original Humorous. Other competition heats (not part of the Overall Championship schedule) were held for Yarnspinning, Novice & Intermediate Poets.

Added to this already full schedule were the “Man from Snowy River” (A.B. Paterson) recitation competition, the Laurie Sheridan, Seniors & Jan Lewis Encouragement Awards as well as a burgeoning Juniors section in both written and spoken word competitions.

 Authors of the adult written word were not forgotten either. To showcase their skills the Australian Bush Poetry Championship Written Competition was also held and pre-judged before the festival proper began. The “Silver Brumby” Award for Serious Poetry was accompanied by the “Corryong Larrikin” Award for Comedic Verse. An Overall Written Champion was also selected.

 Senior Judge this year for both the Performance & Written Championships was none other than “The Rhymer from Ryde”. He was joined on the written judging panel by Brenda Joy & Robyn Sykes who also accompanied him on the performance judging panel for the overall championship sections.

Other judges joining the panel over the course of the 4 day event were Maurie Foun, Carol Reffold, Hal Pritchard & Brian Bell (Brian also doubled up with lengthy stints as our resident timekeeper. He was joined at the timekeeper’s bench by Ray & Peter Lobo).

 Head Collator for the Championship sections was Mick Coventry (ably assisted by Hal Pritchard) (Tom O’Connor also assisted in various sections).

 All of the competition sections were ‘bursting at the seams’ with performers of exceptional quality and the overall standard presented was the highest seen at this level for some time.

 “Hats Off” & plaudits must be awarded to Jan Lewis (who presided over the poetry contingent of the festival) for all her tireless work in bringing the festival to fruition once again. Jan is a stalwart in the Victorian Bush Poetry Association as well as an invaluable committee member for the ABPA.

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

For the full list of section winners please see below.

Australian Bush Poetry Championships 2015 - Performance Competition Results

Classical Male

1st: Roderick Williams

2nd: Bernie Keleher

3rd: Tom O’Connor

HC: Peter Mace

HC: John Peel

Classical Female

1st: Jenny Markwell

2nd: Sue Pearce

3rd: Rob Christmas

HC: Rhonda Tallnash

HC: Maggie Murphy



 
 

Modern Male

 1st: Roderick Williams

2nd: John Peel

3rd: Ken Tough

HC: Tom O’Connor

HC: Ralph Scrivens

Modern Female

 1st: Rhonda Tallnash

2nd: Rob Christmas

3rd: Jenny Markwell

HC: Annette Roberts

HC: Sue Pearce



 

Original Serious Male

 1st: Roderick Williams

2nd: John Peel

3rd: Ken Tough

HC: Bernie Keleher

HC: Peter Mace

Original Serious Female

 1st: Rhonda Tallnash

2nd: Jenny Markwell

3rd: Sue Pearce

HC: Maureen Luke

HC: Annette Roberts



 
 

Original Comedy Male

 1st: Roderick Williams

2nd: Peter Mace

3rd: John Peel

HC: Bernie Keleher

HC: Ralph Scrivens

Original Comedy Female

1st: Sue Pearce

2nd: Rhonda Tallnash

3rd: Jenny Markwell

HC: Annette Roberts

HC: Lisa Ride



 
 

Overall Male Champion

Clancy’s Choice Award

 1st: Roderick Williams

2nd: John Peel

3rd:Ken Tough

Overall Female Champion

Matilda Award

 1st: Rhonda Tallnash

2nd: Jenny Markwell

3rd: Sue Pearce



 

Open Yarnspinning

1st: Mathew Hollis

2nd: Mick Coventry

3rd: Rob Christmas

HC: Tom McIlveen

HC: Ken Prato


Novice Champion

 1st: John Raine

2nd: Ian McDonald

3rd: Caitlin Klippel

Intermediate Champion

1st: Lisa Ride

2nd: Michelle Roberts

3rd: Maureen Luke


 

Man from Snowy River Recitation

 1st: Rob Christmas 

2nd: John Peel

3rd: Maggie Murphy


Special Awards

One Minute Poem: Ilya Nordemeer 2nd: Carol Reffold

Laurie Sheridan Encouragement Award: Maureen Luke

Seniors Encouragement Award: Des Bennett

Jan Lewis Encouragement Award: Jannette Morris


Australian Bush Poetry Championships 2015 - Written Competition Results

 

Written Serious Poem

Silver Brumby Award

 1st: Tom McIlveen

2nd: Tom McIlveen

3rd: David Campbell

HC: Tom McIlveen

HC: Carol Heuchan

Written Humorous Poem

Corryong Larrikin Award

 1st: Will Moody

2nd: Will Moody

3rd: Tom McIlveen

HC: Tom McIlveen

HC: Tom McIlveen


Overall Written Champion

 1st: Tom McIlveen


Novice Written Champion

 1st: Lisa Ride




 

“Rhymer ‘Flushed’ with success”

 Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival 2015

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The quaint little hamlet of Dunedoo, NSW once again held their annual Bush Poetry Competition over the weekend of the 6-8th March 2015.

 A popular event that attracts Bush Poets from all over Australia the success of this major event is a direct result of the hard work done by the local “Dunedoo & District Development” Committee headed by Mr. Eric Beer.

It is often remarked by competitors that ‘strutting their stuff’ on the vast expanse of the Dunedoo Central School Hall is amongst one of their favourite performance experiences. Adorned with various symbolic Australia decorations the stage makes audience and performers alike feel very welcome indeed.

Weekend Mc Milton Taylor withdrew suddenly at the last moment (due to ill health) and was ably replaced by ABPA Secretary Brenda Joy (visiting with her husband ABPA President Hal Pritchard) who then proceeded to talk non-stop for the remainder of the weekend as she Mc’d everything in sight. Well done Brenda!

Dunedoo is a perfect example of the old adage that you don’t have to have a ‘big’ town to hold a ‘big’ show which was borne out by the high quality of entrants & performances alike.

The “Rhymer” was flushed with his success with wins in 3 of the 4 male sections as detailed below. Even more thrilled as the poems he performed had all been learned in the month before the competition and had not been performed in public before! Oh well, that’s the way it goes sometimes!

 

Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival 2015 Competition Results

 

Contemporary Male

 1st: Graeme Johnson

2nd: Ken Potter

3rd: Paddy O’Brien

HC: Terry Regan

Traditional Male

 1st: Terry Regan

2nd: Garry Lowe

3rd: Ken Potter

HC: Barry Ellem



 

Original Serious Male

 1st: Terry Regan

2nd: Ken Potter

3rd: Graeme Johnson

HC: Paddy O’Brien

Original Comedy Male

 1st: Garry Lowe

2nd: Paddy O’Brien

3rd: Terry Regan

HC: Graeme Johnson


 

Traditional Female

 1st: Rhonda Tallnash

2nd: Jenny Markwell

3rd: Cay Ellem

HC: Heather Searles

Contemporary Female

 1st: Rhonda Tallnash

2nd: Heather Searles

3rd: Jenny Markwell

HC: Freda Harvey


 

Original Serious Female

 1st: Jenny Markwell

2nd: Heather Searles

3rd: Rhonda Tallnash

HC: Freda Harvey

Original Comedy Female

 1st: Rhonda Tallnash

2nd: Heather Searles

3rd: Cay Ellem

HC: Jenny Markwell


 

Overall Male Champion

 1st: Terry Regan

Overall Female Champion

1st: Rhonda Tallnash


The Tamworth Country Music Festival 2015

"The Rhymer's Wrap-up"

What happened where and when

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North Tamworth was once again the ‘place to be’ during the 2015 Country Music Festival if you wanted to enjoy ‘top-quality’ “Aussie” Bush Verse but not have to get up early to do so.

The third instalment of this popular series of Bush Poetry shows (run by “The Rhymer from Ryde” himself) again highlighted the fact that the typical ‘man on the street’ much preferred to see his verse at a more respectable time of the morning. Hence the 6 ‘Brunch-time’ shows kicked off at 10.30 am on a daily basis in the comfortable confines of Bus Poetry’s new home, The North Tamworth Bowling Club (cnr. Bligh & Piper Streets, North Tamworth).

 And why wouldn’t you go with ‘on the street’ parking right out front of the premises, buses right to the door, good food, cold beer and a nice air-conditioned room in which to sit back and enjoy yourself. Once inside pull up a seat, put your feet up and laugh your guts out at the funnies bunch of vagabonds ‘this side of the black stump’.

This year the “Rhymer’s Roundup” troupe consisted of Gregory North, Robyn Sykes, John Peel, Brenda Joy, Rhonda Tallnash, Noel Bull and “The Rhymer from Ryde”.

 The “Rhymer” waxed lyrical & loquacious with his original comedy tales about such varied subjects as Barbie Dolls, the Pontiff’s visit and misbehaving Beagles whilst also showcasing his more serious poems such as “Poles & Wires” (regarding the Light Horse Regiments of WW1) & “Faces on the Wall” (a tale of the Anzacs).

 Robyn Sykes detailed life on the farm from the female perspective with some amusing hi-jinx about ‘carryings on’ round the farmyard whilst teaming up with Brenda Joy for some duo work as well. Brenda continued drawing unsuspecting audience members into her presentations (much to the delight of their friends) to act out the storylines of some classic pieces of verse. The unpredictability of these ‘skits’ really had the audience on the ‘edge of their seats’.

 John Peel continued his narrative poems about “The Fencing Farmer” ( now a trilogy) Elvis’s ‘return from the dead’, defecating pigeons, old age wedded bliss and wild mountain brumbies whilst Noel “Raging” Bull did his best to destroy the stage (or anything on it) and the audience’s eardrums with his wildly vigorous style of show. There’s only one pace for Noel and that’s “Full-On” that’s for sure.

 Rhonda Tallnash (the current NSW & QLD Female Bush Poetry Champion) joined Graeme’s troupe for the first time and ‘wowed’ the audience with her distinctive style, eloquent manner, dress sense and intriguing tales.

 Gregory “Man of many Hats” North was again the ‘Star’ attraction of this 3 ringed circus. Indeed so many costume changes were featured during his shows (over the 6 days of performance) that no-one really knew whether it was Greg North on stage or not. Either way it didn’t matter which of Greg’s entities was at the microphone, you could rest assured that they would be totally captivating ‘none the less’.

 For a more pictorial representation of the action described above please ‘have a gander’ at the photo galleries below (if you dare!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABPA "Golden Damper” Bush Poetry Awards 2015

Finals & Heats - Report & Results

--------------------------------

One of the Bush Poetry calendars “Showcase” events was held during the Tamworth Country Music Festival 2015 at West’s Leagues Club’s “Blazes” Auditorium on Saturday the 24th January.

 The Finals of the “Golden Damper” Bush Poetry competition are one of the country’s premier performance competitions and are run under the auspices of the Australian Bush Poets Association Inc. The Awards ceremony & competition itself were Co-ordinated this year by Graeme Johnson, “The Rhymer from Ryde”.

 With only 3 performers taken from the 9 entrants in each daily heat (in each section) the pressure was on for competitors to produce their very best performance on each & every occasion (which of course made excellent viewing for the attentive and appreciative audiences over that time).

Original Finalists
Claire Reynolds
Cay Ellem
Dave Elson
Paddy O'Brien
Rhonda Tallnash
Kathy Edwards
Lyn Tarring
Tom McIlveen
Garry Lowe
Established Finalists
Claire Reynolds
Jacqui Warnock
Cay Ellem
Barry Ellem
Rhonda Tallnash
Gabby Colquhoun
Lyn Tarring
Jason Roweth
John Peel
   

9 performers then (in total) from the 3 daily heats made the Finals in each section of the competition.

The race was well and truly on to see who would ‘snaffle’ the superbly hand crafted “Golden Damper” trophies and performances the like you’d never seen were witnessed on many occasions as the battle weary competitors ‘pulled out all the stops’ to gain an advantage over their adversaries.

Time limits were stretched to the last second as performers raced to cram their respective poems into the 6 minute time limit and judges scratched furiously at their adjudication sheets to try and separate one competitor from the other, one slip or tiny indiscretion the only difference between a second or third place such was the overall quality of the poems presented.

But decide they did and everybody retired for the day happy in the knowledge that they had done their very very best.

Original Placegetters
1st:  Lyn Tarring
2nd:  Claire Reynolds
3rd:  Rhonda Tallnash
Established Placegetters
1st:  Lyn Tarring
2nd:  Jason Roweth
3rd:  Gabby Colquhoun
 
 
 
 
2014 ARCHIVED NEWS

“A New Face in the Crowd”

Report on the Royal Brisbane Show

Bush Poetry Competition Aug 2014

-------------------------------

Original Section Winners (L - R)
Geraldine King, The Rhymer from Ryde & Kevin Dean
Original Section Winners (L - R)
Geraldine King, The Rhymer from Ryde & Kevin Dean

First held in 1876 Brisbane’s Royal Show or “Ekka” (as it is affectionately known to the patriotic locals) held its 138th show in 2014 making it one of the longest running agricultural shows in the country.

 Bush Poetry has been an important feature of the show’s entertainment line-up for over two decades pioneered by local identity Trisha Anderson.

 Trisha, well connected in bush poetry ‘circles’ gathers a ‘motley crew’ of the best poets from every State to showcase Australian stories in verse, told in the rhymed & metred style of the masters, Lawson, Paterson et al.

 The ‘ever changing, ever amazing’ “Ekka” site (currently undergoing a decade long urban renovation facelift) once again welcomed record crowds keen to see its push towards the future.

 The John Reid Pavillion once again hosted the annual Bush Poetry Competition and enthralled guests with lively tales of the city & the bush told in the myriad styles of its contestants.

 The Rhymer from Ryde had long held sway in the Original Section of the competition having won the last 5 years trophies but was deposed in fine style this year by newcomer Geraldine King from QLD. Graeme had to genuflect to the superior skills of his female foe who swept all before her with consummate ease. Well done Geraldine!

 Graeme’s 2nd place in the Original Section was for his poem “Faces on the Wall” a solemn Anzac tribute focusing on the horrors of war. “Faces on the Wall” was inspired by a visit to the Corryong RSL Club in rural Victoria and their gallery of photographs of local lads who served & died in the “Great War”.

 Bush Poetry aside Graeme also met a famous face backstage during his travels. Yep, none other than Ronald McDonald himself (who gave Graeme some handy tips about ‘how to work a crowd’). Thanks’ Ronald!

 

“Bush Poets Trump City ‘Push’”

Bush Poets triumph at the National Folk Festival 2014

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NFF
NFF2


Slam vs Bush Poet Winners
Laurie McDonald, Lorraine McCrimmon,
Dick Warwick, The Rhymer from Ryde
Featured Poets
The Rhymer from Ryde, Milton Taylor, Gregory North,
Geoffrey W Graham, Dick Warwick

 

The Majestic Marquee at the National Exhibition grounds was once again the carnival setting for the Annual “Slam Vs Bush” Poetry Competition held as part of the National Folk Festival in Canberra over the Easter Long Weekend.

Four City based “Slam Poets” Vs four Bush Poets in a “Winner takes all” versifying showdown. Three minutes per poem, 5 randomly selected judges and a venue bursting at the seams with punters avidly cheering or booing for their side of residence.

The Bush Poets were ably captained by Laurie McDonald, joined on stage by “The Rhymer from Ryde”, Lorraine McCrimmon and a ‘blow-in’ from Washington State USA, Mr Dick Warwick (making a welcome return to the National stage).

Their opponents (the “Slam Poets”-led by the cinematic storyteller Candy Royalle) ‘huffed & puffed’ aplenty (with their naval-gazing esoteric histrionics) but couldn’t bring the Bush Poetry house down. Common sense and the calming influence of well metred verse finally overwhelmed the judges and the Bush Poets came home in a landslide to take the win.


 

The Tamworth Country Music Festival 2014

 “The Rhymer’s Wrap-up”

What happened where and when

-------------------------------------

 The doors of the North Tamworth Bowling Club were once again thrown open to throngs of eager Bush Poet devotees for the Tamworth Country Music Festival, January 2014. Why was this the popular destination for these early morning “Grey Nomad” gatherings I hear you ask? Simple, the return to the North Tamworth Bowling Club of Graeme Johnson’s “Rhymer’s Roundup” Bush Poetry troupe.

 Returning by “Popular Demand” after the initial success of their Inaugural shows in 2013 the “Rhymer’s Roundup” continued their series of 6 “Brunch-time” shows kicking off at the leisurely time of 10.30 am each day. The public were obviously in tune with the idea and flocked in droves to see just what it was that there friends were talking about so eagerly.

 A lovely air conditioned auditorium, comfortable seating, modern amenities, free on-street parking (or a short bus ride from the city centre) good food and ice cold beverages. Oops, what have I forgotten...of course...and the Bush Poets.

 This year the “Rhymer’s Roundup” Bush Poetry troupe consisted of 3 times Australian Champion, Gregory North, ex Australian Champion, Robyn Sykes, ex NSW Champion, Brenda Joy & previous Tamworth Country Music Festival Golden Damper Winners John Peel, Greg Scott, Noel Bull (& the “Rhymer” himself).

 “The Rhymer” was in fine form drawing from his extensive repertoire of modern, traditional & original verse to entertain the masses over the 6 days. The audiences were enthralled by John Peel’s frequent foray into song (mid poem) and Brenda Joy’s audience-interactive tableau’s that had the punters falling about in fits of laughter.

 Noel “Raging” Bull took masterful command of the stage (and most of the room while he was at it) with his wonderful interpretations of some Murray Hartin classics and Greg Scott introduced some ‘home spun country views’ with his hilarious stories of life on the land.

 Robyn Sykes emotive poems tugged at the ‘heart strings’ of crowds one minute, then had them sliding of their chairs with hilarity the next.

 Gregory North the “Man of many Hats” celebrated his wins in the Bush Laureate Awards by taking his performance skills to another level over the course of the 6 shows, people coming back time after time to see what else he had in his ‘kit-bag’ of poetic tricks. Coal seam ‘fracking’, “Carpet Courts” “Sticky Tape” and “Tradie’s” butt-cracks were but only a small sample of the subject matter pilloried by this modern day poetic marvel.

 A photographic panorama of the “Rhymer’s Roundup” hijinks 2014 can be found below.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 


2013 ARCHIVED NEWS!

"Rhymer “Poles Apart” at the Ekka"

Report on the Royal Brisbane Show

Bush Poetry Competition Aug 2013

------------------------------------------

 

13 proved far from unlucky for Graeme Johnson, “The Rhymer from Ryde” at this year’s Royal Brisbane Show Bush Poetry Competition. The event is run annually in early August as part of the “Ekka” and has been held in QLD since 1876. This year was Graeme’s 13th at the site and over that decade or so he’s come up with 10 awards (including this year’s)!

 Bush Poetry at the “Ekka” has been run for nearly 20 years at the Show by local identity & icon Trisha Anderson. Every year she musters Poets from all over Australia who gather at the various pubs, auditoriums, halls and venues around the site to ‘spruik’ a bit of good old fashioned “Aussie” Bush Verse to the assembled masses.

Major renovations at the site and surrounding areas (which will continue for a decade or more) did nothing to halt the advance of the crowds who poured through the turnstiles at a record breaking ‘rate of knots’ to ‘have a squiz’ at the brand new Convention Centre and many other changes.

The Bush Poetry competition (held in the heritage listed John Reid Pavillion) once again attracted established performers from all over the country vying with all their skills to take home one of the coveted prizes.

A grand mixture of serious, comedic, original & contemporary poetry was showcased during these performances keeping the crowds enthralled for hours on end.

Graeme’s First Place in the Original Section was for his poem “Poles & Wires” a piece about the “Light Horse Interchange” sculpture that can be found in Sydney’s western suburbs. The sculpture is a memorial to the Light Horse Regiment of WW1 & their valiant horses.  PS: full poem available on this website.

 

Royal Brisbane Show Bush Poetry Competition Results 2013

 
Original
1st: Graeme Johnson
2nd: Carmel Woody
3rd: Mal Beveridge
Established
1st: Paddy O'Brien
2nd: Kevin Dean
3rd: Carmel Woody
Juniors (under 12 yrs)
1st: Francis Wilson
2nd: James McMillan
3rd:
Bridget Heggarty

Juniors (12-18 yrs)
1st: Amy Bradfield
2nd: Emily Bradfield

 

“Dunedoo Rings True for The Rhymer”

 Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival 2013

--------------------------------

 

The Dunedoo & District Development Group Inc (headed by President Eric Beer) once again presented their annual Bush Poetry competition at the magnificent Dunedoo Central School Hall on the weekend of the 1-3rd March 2013.

Some of NSW’s finest reciters were joined by many interstate competitors keen to ‘have a crack’ at the many titles on offer.

Judges Tony Yeo, Sandra Nicholson, Garry Lowe & Des Kelly had the unenviable task of separating the combatants as they pitted their well honed skills against one another in a spirit of comradeship, fun and a little bit of friendly ‘niggling’.

Gregory North showed off his exemplary vocal skills and staying power by Mc’ing everything in sight. The audiences were bombarded by a barrage of ‘pithy’ puns, amusing anecdotes, clangers, bloopers and blunders as Gregory soldiered on for many more hours in front of the mike than would be recommended by OH & S recommended safety limits. Well done Greg!

Other highlights of the weekend included Yarn Spinning & Intermediate competitions (results not available at this time) and a “Poet’s Brawl” held on the Sunday morning.

 There was also a “Meet & Greet” session held in the Jubilee Hall and a Bus Trip to see the local sights.

Be there or ‘be square’ next year!!!

 Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival 2013 Competition Results

Traditional Male
1st: Robert Markwell
2nd: Terry Regan
3rd: Neil Jones
HC: Ken Tough
Traditional Female
1st: Robyn Sykes
2nd: Lois Sanders
3rd: Claire Reynolds
HC: Jacqui Warnock
Contemporary Male
1st: Ken Tough
2nd: Graeme Johnson
3rd: Terry Regan
HC: Bob Sanders
Contemporary Female
1st: Robyn Sykes
2nd: Claire Reynolds
3rd: Heather Searles
HC: Jacqui Warnock
Original Serious Male
1st: Terry Regan
2nd: Ken Tough
3rd: Neil Jones
HC: Graeme Johnson
Original Serious Female
1st: Robyn Sykes
2nd: Claire Reynolds
3rd: Jenny Markwell
HC: Heather Searles
Original Humorous Male
1st: Neil Jones
2nd: Ken Tough
3rd: Terry Regan
HC: Max Pringle
Original Humorous Female
1st: Claire Reynolds
2nd: Jacqui Warnock
3rd: Heather Searles
HC: Robyn Sykes
Overall Male Champion
Ken Tough
Overall Female Champion
Robyn Sykes
 

The Tamworth Country Music Festival 2013

"The Rhymer's Wrap-up"

What happened where and when

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes folks, the Rhymer’s Roundup really took the Tamworth Country Music Festival by storm in 2013 with all roads leading to the front doors of the North Tamworth Bowling Club every morning at 10.30 am.

Crowds built steadily over the first few days as the audiences ‘found their feet’ (and sense of direction) and made the North Tamworth Bowling Club their new “Bush Poetry” home.

Many punters through the door came back multiple times, often bringing their friends with them as they did. Word travelled fast and by the 3rd day we were starting to ‘pack them in’. As a matter of fact we even had to put the ‘House Full” sign up a couple of times over the 6 day period of the shows.

Crowds commented that they were very much in favour of our “Brunch” timeslot and the fact that they could enjoy a simple ‘sleep-in’ before their morning dose of good old fashioned “Aussie” verse.

Verse and versatility was what the people got too with the varied array of artists on offer at the “Roundup”.

“The Rhymer” entertained with original comedy pieces from his “Home Brew” CD opus, John Peel demonstrated his developing singing skills by occasionally ‘bursting into song’ mid poem and Greg Scott delivered some ‘down-home’ country wisdom through his heartfelt poems of the land.

Colin Driscoll had the audience in stitches with his rendition of his troubles with an intoxicated “Wine Tasting” group gone ‘feral’ and sheep with a mind of their own whilst Australian female Champion Robyn Sykes spun some enchanting tales of our country’s history & colourful characters she has met.

Brenda Joy, “The Darling of the Outback” quite often left the stage trolling through the audience for people willing to get up and participate in her ‘wacky’ antics (and quite often succeeded in doing so).

Gregory North, “The Man of Many Hats” took quite a few of them out of his bag during our shows whilst introducing us to his new creation “Frackin’ Freddy” (See photo’s below). Freddy was joined on stage by a troublesome old granny who would never wait her turn and a scientific looking ‘fella’ in a white overcoat who introduced us to inmates of his clinic. Gregory also donned a pink cowboy hat, a blue feather boa, a tiara and a turban amongst other things. Audiences just couldn’t get enough of this lunatic from Linden in Sydney’s Blue Mountains.

Carol Heuchan showed why she was the recipient of 7 (now actually 9) Bush Laureate Awards by mesmerising the crowds with her ‘side splitting’ comedy creations about life as only a woman could see it. Her emotionally charged serious poems brought tears to many an eye showcasing the fact that audiences do like and will listen too poetry other than comedy.

A photographic panorama can be found below highlighting the antics of the “Rhymer’s Roundup” troupe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

“Rhymer’s Roundup” Artists “Scoop the Pool” at this years “Golden Damper” Bush Poetry Awards

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

John Peel and Robyn Sykes (2 of the artists featured in Graeme Johnson’s “Rhymer’s Roundup” shows at the North Tamworth Bowling Club) ‘scooped the pool’ at this years “Golden Damper” Bush Poetry Awards held at “Blazes” Auditorium at West’s Leagues Club on “Australia Day” Sat 26th January this year.

John Peel was placed 1st in the “Original” section and 2nd in the “Established” section whilst Robyn Sykes was placed 1st in the “Established” section and 3rd in the “Original” section.

A fitting testament to the talents of these two fine performers who also showcased their wares at the “Rhymer’s Roundup” from Fri 18th –Wed 23rd January 2013 as well.

9 performers from 3 daily heats made the finals in each section of the competition. As well as the poets mentioned above some ‘sterling’ performances were delivered by Rhonda Tallnash, Janeen Mapson, Tom McIlveen and Max Pringle.

Stalwarts of the “Golden Damper” competitions over the years were also once again on centre stage as part of the finalist mix adding their considerable talents to the day’s entertainment.

Also ‘strutting their stuff’ were Claire Reynolds, Jacqui Warnock, Anita Reid, Jim Brown & Brian Langley (all the way from WA). Joining them was newcomer Maggie Walsh.

Established Section
1st Robyn Sykes
2nd: John Peel
3rd:  Anita Reid
Original Section
1st: John Peel
2nd: Brian Langley
3rd: Robyn Sykes
 

 

*******************************************************************

2012 ARCHIVED NEWS!

Rhymer's "First Class Ribbon" 

Royal Brisbane Show Bush Poetry Competition Aug 2012

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Graeme Johnson, “The Rhymer from Ryde” returned to one of his old ‘stomping grounds’ to rack up another Win in the Royal Brisbane Show Bush Poetry Competition that was run in early-August as part of the 137th “Ekka”.

Mingled in with the sights, sounds and smells of the “Country meeting the City’ in this annual event, Bush Poetry has been an important part of this ‘True Blue’ Australiana experience for every person who plonks their hard earned cash down to walk through it’s welcoming entry gates.

 Still undergoing major changes as part of a 10 year, Multi-Million dollar re-vamp the “Ekka” site was a hive of activity from “Day One” as interested onlookers poured in to peruse the ever changing site.

Luckily for the Bush Poets this meant the opportunity to present the large majority of their verse in the relative comfort of the John Reid Pavillion on the Commonwealth Bank sponsored stage.

 Local QLD icon Trisha Anderson has been at the helm of organising said Bush Poetry presentations at the Show for the last couple of decades and consistently brings the ‘cream’ of the Bush Poetry crop to ‘strut their stuff’ at the various venues around the Showground over the 10 days that it is held.

The culmination of their efforts is presented in said Bush Poetry Competition sponsored by the RNA Show Society.

 This years Competition saw 3 winners awarded in both the “Original” & “Established” Adult sections of the event. A Junior Competition was also held.

 The overall quality of the performances was ‘top-notch’ with a current Australian and State Champion amongst the ‘players’ on the day.

Graeme’s 1st place was garnered in the “Original Section” for his comedy poem “If it’s FREE I want it” from his current 2 CD release “Home Brew”.

It tells the tale of a man obsessed by “Freebies” and his passion for collecting every possible promotional product he can get his hands on, whether its stubby holders, food samples or, in the end, a free Funeral. Hilarious stuff!

Royal Brisbane Show Competition Results 2012

Original
1st Graeme Johnson
2nd: Barry Ellem
3rd:  Peter Mace
Established
1st: Peter Mace
2nd: Cay Ellem
3rd:
Kevin Dean

Junior
1st Amy Bradfield
2nd: Emily Bradfield


2012's NEWS No 2

Rhymer "Blazes" at West Leagues

Tamworth Country Music Festival January 2012

--------------------------------------------------

West's "Blazes" Auditorium was packed to the rafters on the final Saturday of the Country Music Festival for the finals of the annual Golden Damper Bush Poetry Performance Competition.

This normally brings together the top ten competitors in both the Original and Contemporary performance sections all vying for the coveted Golden Damper trophies.

For the fourth year running, The Rhymer once again found himself in the finals of both sections, a feat few others have attained.

In the Original section Graeme's poem 'Barbie Town' from his CD set 'Home Brew' wowed the crowd, but didn't quite make the final cut.

In the Contemporary section Graeme made the finals with another rendition from his CD set 'Home Brew' called 'Like Thunder on the Plain'. A stirring account of the final hours of Harry "Breaker" Morant by Queensland author Arthur Green (the only non original poem on Graeme's CD set).

********************************************

2011's ARCHIVED NEWS No 1

 Rhymer shows his form at the "Ekka" 

Royal Brisbane Show Bush Poetry Competition Aug 2011

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Performance Bush Poetry has long been an integral part of the Royal Brisbane Show landscape and the wide scope of arts, crafts & animals that the “Ekka” showcases every year at the Exhibition grounds.

Trisha Anderson’s troupe of colourful characters (otherwise known as some of the Best Bush Poets in the land) entertained the Brisbane Show crowds at various locations around the site for the 10 days of the event. 

Highlight of the Bush Poetry calendar at the Show is the annual Bush Poetry Competition sponsored by the RNA Show Society held on the 1st Saturday.

As the Gregory Terrace grounds of the Show are currently in the midst of major renovations of the site a number of competitions/performances had been transferred to makeshift stages scattered around the Oval and this years Bush Poetry Competition happened to be one of those. Not quite the ideal conditions for our competitors or audience.

Anyway, as they say, ‘The show must go on’, and ‘go on’ it did, albeit to a slightly smaller crowd then usual. Glad to say there was no drop in the quality of said performances though. Females competed against Males as each of the competitors went at it ‘hammer and tongs’ to give their very best to the crowds at hand.

Winner of the Original Section was Graeme Johnson (of NSW) whilst Kevin Dean took out the Established section.

Royal Brisbane Show Competition Results 2011

Original
1st Graeme Johnson
2nd: Paul Montague
3rd:  Kevin Dean
Established
1st: Kevin Dean
2nd: Tom Maloney
3rd: Cay Ellem

“Bobby Miller Memorial Award” (for best Comedy)

1st Graeme Johnson

 

2011's ARCHIVED NEWS No 2

Rhymer from Ryde WINS Original Section of Golden Damper
Bush Poetry Performance Competition at Tamworth Country Music Festival 2011
 

Country Energy Tamworth Poetry Competition Report 2011

 

Two of the Country’s most eagerly sought after awards went up for grabs in January at West’s “Blazes” Auditorium during the Tamworth Country Music Festival 2011. After 3 days of torrid Heats the 10 Finalists in both the Original & Established competition sections ‘faced off’ to a sellout crowd at West’s Leagues Club on the last Saturday of the event. 

 Despite the floods the competition saw entries from all over the nation. The level of competition was second to none as Males & Females went ‘head to head’ performing an interesting mix of original comedy and serious work as well as a stunning array of Traditional Bush Verse and Established Contemporary pieces. 

The crowd was treated to displays of showmanship, pathos and varied subject matter (where do they get their imaginations from) in a bright and bubbly showcase of all that is good with regards to “Aussie Bush Verse”. 

David Proust Mc’d the event and kept it flowing at a ‘cracking pace’ and filled the gaps with jocular stories as only “Prousty” can. 

Hats off to Jan Morris and the rest of the Tamworth Poetry Reading Group for all their efforts in running and co-ordinating such a fine event.


Country Energy Tamworth Poetry Competition Results 2011
   
Original Poetry
First: Graeme Johnson
Second: Jim Riches
Third: John Best
Established Poetry
First: Noel Bull
Second: Brenda Joy
Third: Peter Mace

*******************************************************************

 

2010's ARCHIVED NEWS No 1

 

Rhymer from Ryde wins “Poet’s Breakfast Reciter’s Award” at the Man from Snowy River Festival

 Man from Snowy River Festival Report April 2010

 

Corryong, “Where Legends Ride” ran the slogan for the ever popular Man from Snowy River Festival 2010. Here horsemanship events run side by side with Bush Poetry, Art, Photographic & Multi-Media presentations to bring to life Banjo Paterson’s classic poem “The Man from Snowy River”.

Whilst the modern “Man from Snowy River” is being fought out over 6 preliminary & 2 Final events down at the Showground “Banjo’s Block” (located just up the road) plays host to Australia’s best Bush Poets who vie for the moniker of the Female & Male Overall Champions (known as the Matilda’s & Clancy’s appropriately).

Subsections accumulating points for these Overall titles include best “Aussie Poem & Aussie Comedy”, Original, Non-Original & best recitation of the Bard’s before mentioned epic. There is also the “Silver Brumby Award” for serious written verse & the “Corryong Larrikin Award” for best comedic written verse.

Banjo’s Block also plays host to three ‘top-notch’ Poet’s Breakfasts over the course of the weekend.

Geoffrey W. Graham also held court at various locations and Bob Magor from Sth Aust entertained the masses at the Colac Colac Caravan Park. Carol Reffold also contributed with many hours of Mc’ing.

 

Man from Snowy River Festival 2010 Bush Poetry Competition Results

Poet’s Breakfast Reciter’s Award
First: Graeme Johnson



Man from Snowy River Recitation
First: Will Stanfield
Second: Barry Tiffen
Third: Peter Mace

Original Poetry
First: Jenny Markwell
Second: Ted Webber

Non-Original Poetry
First: Jenny Markwell
Second: John Peel

Aussie Poem
First: Jim Brown
Second: Tie: B.Tiffen/J.Markwell

Aussie Comedy
First: Alex Allit
Second: Peter Mace

Matilda (Overall Female Champ)
First: Jenny Markwell
Second: Betty Walton

Clancy (Overall Male Champ)
First: Peter Mace
Second: Barry Tiffin

       

 2010's ARCHIVED NEWS No 2

 

Rhymer from Ryde wins Third Place (Overall Male Championship)

NSW Bush Poetry Titles-Dunedoo, NSW,

 

NSW Bush Poetry Championships Report 2010

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Small and unassuming Dunedoo may be but the townsfolk are very proud of their ‘neck of the woods’ that’s for sure. So proud to show off their town and its assets that they invited the whole of NSW to come for a visit and watch the New South Wales Bush Poetry Championships go round between the 4-7th March this year.

Thankfully the whole of NSW didn’t turn up but the punters who packed out the massive High School Auditorium on the Saturday were treated to a smorgasbord of versifying like you wouldn’t believe.

Thursday night saw a “Meet & Greet” at the local Caravan Park and ‘Tall tales & True’ were spruiked at the Dunedoo Golf Club on the Friday evening with the Yarnspinning night.

Saturday’s main competition saw some 78 individual performances (incl. 5 novices) over 9 hours keep the audiences glued to their seats for every syllable that was spoken.

Saturday brought a respite from the strain of competition with a fun night starring Milton Taylor, Noel Stallard, Carol Heuchan & Des Kelly.

 

NSW Bush Poetry Championships 2010 Competition Results

Male Overall Champion
First: Gregory North
Second: Ellis Campbell

Third: Graeme Johnson

Female Overall Champion
First: Gabby Colquhoun
Second: Kathy Edward

Third: Brenda Joy

Original Section
First: Gregory North
Second: Jenny Markwell

Third:Gabby Colquhoun

Classical
First: Gregory North
Second: Ellis Campbell

Third: Dulcie Mclean

Contemporary
First: Gregory North
Second: Barry Ellem

Third: Gabby Colquhoun

 Novice
First: Terry Moore
Second: Daryl Lawrence

Third: Will Stanfield

Yarnspinning
First: Lois Sanders

Poet’s Brawl
First: Cathy Edwards

Written Original Serious
First: Brenda Joy
Second: Glenny Palmer
Third: Ron Stevens

Written Original Humorous
First: Glenny Palmer



 

2009's ARCHIVED NEWS No 1

Rhymer from Ryde WINS “Bobby Miller Memorial Trophy” for “Most Humourous Performance Poem” at the RNA Royal Brisbane Show Bush Poetry Competition Championships, QLD

Rhymer from Ryde WINS “Original Comedy Section” at the RNA Royal Brisbane Show Bush Poetry Competition Championships, QLD

Rhymer from Ryde wins Second Place in the “Non-Original Comedy Section” at the RNA Royal Brisbane Show Bush Poetry Competition Championships, QLD

Royal Brisbane Show “The Ekka” Report 2009

The “Ekka” as it affectionately known to Queenslanders is so named for the “Exhibition Grounds” on which the annual RNA Royal Brisbane Show is held. Every year (except 2) for the last 134 years the Bowen Hill site has been the showcase for the promotion and development of the agricultural, pastoral, horticultural, industrial, manufacturing & cultural resources of the state of QLD. 

The first show in 1876 was created to help fulfil this charter and has continued to grow in stature since its inception.

Today it continues to lead the way in the judging of produce & livestock and the show’s cattle competitions are one of the most prestigious in the country.

For approximately a decade now the Cattleman’s Rest Bar at the site has played host to the annual Bush Poetry Competition that has attracted versifiers from all over the land.

 Unfortunately (due to the hard economic times) sponsorship of the event (with regards to prizemoney) had been severely reduced bringing with it a reduction in overall competitors involved.

 This being said it was good to see that the high quality of the presentations viewed on the day had not suffered the same fate & the small but hardy crowd were treated to some sterling performances.

 Of course the emphasis is on comedy presentation (as per the sponsor’s wishes) and there were laughs aplenty on the day that’s for sure.

 Quite apart from the competition Bush Poetry featured very prominently on the “Ekka” programme. 6 shows a day were held on various stages ‘around the grounds’ with 3-4 different poets per day for the whole 10 days of the show. This contingent of the show’s programme has been organised now for many years by Trisha Anderson from the Palma Rosa Poets in Brisbane.

Royal Brisbane Show 2009 Bush Poetry Competition Results

Original Comedy:

First: Graeme Johnson

Second: Paddy O’Brien

Third: Dot Schwenke

 

Non-Original Comedy

 First: Barry Ellem

Second: Graeme Johnson

Third: Denis Scanlon

 

Bobby Miller Memorial Trophy for Most Humourous Poem

First: Graeme Johnson

 

 

2009's ARCHIVED NEWS No 2

 

Rhymer from Ryde wins Second Place in Leonard Teale Memorial Spoken Word Award (Henry Lawson Heritage Festival)

 

 

Henry Lawson Heritage Festival 2009 Report

 

 Leonard Teale Finalists

 

Historic Gulgongs cobbled & crooked streets once again rang to echoes of the past and visions of the future as artisans, poets, musicians, thespians & visitors enjoyed the June Long-Weekends Henry Lawson Heritage Festival 2009.

 A jam packed programme ran from Friday evening to Monday lunchtime as lovers of the arts participated in and listened to a plethora of Henry Lawson related activities.

 Prominent local identity Des Kelly (accompanied by Daryl Honeysett) got the ball rolling with his Tales of the Swag concert at the Prince of Wales Opera House. Also on the bill was Kim Deacon whose themed shows The loves of Henry Lawson presented Henrys poems in song & music with harp, guitar and banjo thrown in for good measure.

Guest Speakers gave talks on Lawsons works in the Henry Lawson Centre where the Monday Writers Morning Tea was also held and the Hunter Bush Poets Association ran the Poets Breakfast on the Sunday as well as the very popular Just Henry session where, you guessed it, only Henry Lawsons work was to be heard, be they verse or short stories.

Geoff Sharp (patron of the Henry Lawson Society) gave a Workshop on the art of Performance Poetry on the Saturday afternoon, sharing his considerable knowledge & experience with anyone who cared to partake of it.

Ellis Campbell was the 2009 Festival Guest of Honour. Ellis was born in Gulgong in 1926 and lived there for 50 years.

 The Festival was also visited by Henrys alter ego James Howard from Melbourne who has Henrys mannerisms & quirks down to a tee. James entertained not only in the set venues but also dallied around the town falling into conversation with many a layabout & drunken rascal. A wonderfully engaging personality to have at such an event.

 Those in the right place at the right time could also participate in the cutting of Henrys 142nd Birthday Cake or join in Old Time & Highland Dancing (not at the same time of course). The Gulgong Community Singers warbled away on various street corners & those wanting a walk could join in the guided tours of the towns points of interest.

Of course the highlight of the weekend (for lovers of Bush Poetry) was the Literary Awards Presentation at the Opera House on the Sat night. It is here that the winners of the Henry Lawson Adult Literary Awards and the Short Story Competitions are announced. The 11 finalists from the Leonard Teale Memorial Spoken Word Award also strutted their stuff for the judges who had their work cut out for them with a very strong field of competitors indeed.

The field (containing no less than 2 former Australian Bush Poetry Champions) included Terry Regan, Roderick Williams, The Rhymer from Ryde, Robert Markwell, Ellis Campbell, Ron Brown, Robyn Sykes & the husband & wife pairing of Jacqui & Max Merckenschlager and believe me, each and every person had their eyes on that beguiling bronze bust of Henry Lawson that is First Prize.

Judges (for the first time) were using the new performance judging sheets as accredited by the Australian Bush Poets Association and struggled to separate the first 3 place winners in a photo finish so to speak

 

Henry Lawson Heritage Festival 2009 Competition Results

Leonard Teale Memorial Spoken Word Award

 First: Roderick Williams

Second: Graeme Johnson

Third: Robert Markwell

Henry Lawson Adult Literary Award

 First: Max Merckenschlager

Second: Matthew McLoughlin

Third: Arthur Green

Adult Short Story Award

 First: Chris Blackford

Second: Max Merckenschlager

Third: David Campbell

 

All in all the Henry Lawson Heritage Festival 2009 was of great credit to all involved & Cheryl Peters & her Committee should be heartily applauded for their collective efforts.

 

 ___________________________________________________________

 

 

 

2009's ARCHIVED NEWS No 3

 

Rhymer from Ryde wins "OVERALL MALE PERFORMANCE CHAMPION"
at Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival 2009

Rhymer from Ryde wins Second Place in Traditional Section
at Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival 2009
 

Rhymer from Ryde wins HC in  Adult Written Section
at Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival 2009


Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival 2009 Report

Graeme Johnson

 

The 11th Annual Bush Poetry Festival was held over the weekend of the 5-8th March 2009 at the bustling little Warrumbungle Shire Council hamlet of Dunedoo in Mid-Western NSW. Don't let the little town title fool you though, the 11th Bush Poetry Festival is a premier event on the Bush Poets calendar for those that enjoy performance & written verse. Competitors come from all over the country to have a crack at the 'coveted' titles on offer.

Friday night saw the first performance section 'kick off' the weekend with the Yarnspinning Competition at the Golf Club. Winner takes all in this lively event.


Saturday saw the competition proper commence bright and early in the School Auditorium with 3 more performance sections, Traditional, Original & Contemporary.

The Sat evening "Variety Concert" was hosted by Festival judges Milton Taylor & "Lenny" Knight who entertained the crowd with their songs, bush verse & jokes.

Sunday saw a "Poet's Breakfast" & "Poet's Brawl" (i.e. the 1 minute poetry competition) held in the local park
.


Graeme picked up his Highly Commended award in the written section for his poem "Graystar". (see Lyrics page of this Website for the complete poem).

His Second Place in the Traditional section was for his recitation of the AB 'Banjo' Paterson poem, "The Road to Hogan's Gap".

 

Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival 2009 Competition Results

Graeme Johnson, P. Fallon, L. Knight, M. Taylor

Yarnspinning:
First: Claire Reynolds 

Traditional: 
First: Susan Carcary

Second: Graeme Johnson
Third: Ken Tough 

Original:
First: Susan Carcary

Second: Claire Reynolds

Third: Heather Searles

Contemporary: 
First: Susan Carcary

Second: Gary Lowe
Third: Ellis Campbell 

 

Overall Female Champion: 

First: Susan Carcary 

Overall Male Champion: 

First: Graeme Johnson


Susan Carcary, Graeme Johnson, P. Fallon
(Males & Females competed against one another in all performance sections. As you can see the ladies, especially Suzie had a very good weekend).

 

2009's ARCHIVED NEWS No 4

 

Rhymer from Ryde wins Second Place in "OVERALL MALE PERFORMANCE CHAMPIONSHIP"
at Man from Snowy River Bush Poetry Championships, Corryong, Victoria 2009

 

Rhymer from Ryde wins First Place in "Campfire Section" (Non original work)
at Man from Snowy River Bush Poetry Championships, Corryong, Victoria 2009

 

Rhymer from Ryde wins First Place in "Aussie Comedy Section" (Non original/Original work)
 at Man from Snowy River Bush Poetry Championships, Corryong, Victoria 2009

 

Man from Snowy River Festival 2009 Report

Graeme Johnson @ Banjo's Block 

 The 2009 Man from Snowy River Festival was held in the beautiful little town of Corryong in Victoria between the 2-5th April 2009. The Bush Poetry & Music Competition combines with the annual "Stockman's Challenge" (mentioned in the poem "Graystar" found on the Lyrics page of this website).to form a unique event that truly gives the audience an experience that is like no other. A very Australian event encompassing the traditions of the past with the heroes of tomorrow as crowned in the "Modern Man from Snowy River" in said "Stockman's Challenge"

The Festival attendance was bolstered this year with the appearance of a truly iconic figure in the form of Jack Thompson (who recited the A.B."Banjo" Paterson poem "The Man from Snowy River") at this years re-enactment of the stockman's famous ride.

Poet's Breakfasts were held over the 3 mornings of the event at "Banjo's Block" (an outside area situated near the open campfire around which easy going 'sessions' are held) The Breakfasts were an 'open mike' format where a casual mix of professionals & novices performed their work in a relaxed 'non-competitive atmosphere before the 'stress' of the competition proper that was held in the nearby "Youth Hall".

The sections of the adult competition were of a very high performance calibre with many former champions attending hoping to relive former glories. Males & Females competed against each other in the performance sections and each gender acquitted themselves admirably.

 

Man from Snowy River Festival 2009 Bush Poetry Competition Results

Man from Snowy River Recitation:

 First: John Peel
Second: Maurie Foun
Third: Barry Tiffen


Jack Riley Heritage Award

First: John Peel
Second: Betty Walton

Campire Award (Non Original)

First: Graeme Johnson
Second: Annette Roberts

Aussie Comedy Award:
(Non Original/Original)

First: Graeme Johnson
Second: Annette Roberts

Annette Roberts & Graeme Johnson

Matilda (Overall Female Championship)

First: Betty Walton
Second: Annette Roberts

Clancy (Overall Male Championship)

First: John Peel
Second: Graeme Johnson

John Peel & Graeme Johnson


   
   
   
   
   



MORE ARCHIVED NEWS 2009 & PRIOR

Other Updated Competition Results for 2009 & 2008

 

Caboolture Urban Festival Written Bush Poetry 2009

Second: Graeme Johnson Rust & Rivets

(for complete poem see Lyrics page on this Website)

Tamworth Country Music Festival 2009
Oasis Hotel Written Bush Poetry Competition

First: Graeme Johnson "Traditions"
(for complete poem see Lyrics page on this Website)

Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival Performance Competition 2008
Comedy Section

Third: Graeme Johnson

Tamworth Country Music Festival 2008
"Blackened Billy" Written Competition

Third: Graeme Johnson "The Voyage"
(for complete poem see Lyrics page on this Website)

Ipswich Poetry Feast Written Section 2008

Highly Commended: Graeme Johnson "Graystar"

(for complete poems see Lyrics page on this Website)

Highly Commended: Graeme Johnson "Rust & Rivets"

(for complete poems see Lyrics page on this Website)

___________________________________________________________

Rhymer from Ryde wins Henry Lawson Adult Literary Award 2007 *********

Rhymer from Ryde wins HC in Leonard Teale Memorial Spoken Word Award 2007******
(See Report Below)

Henry Lawson Heritage Festival 2007 Report

 

One of Australia's premier Literary events, The Henry Lawson Heritage Festival was held over the recent June Long Weekend in the Central West town of Gulgong NSW. (Yes, the town on the old ten dollar note-remember them?)

Though the heavens had well & truly opened in the local area (weather wise) Bush Poets from all over Australia still managed to make their way to the historic centre for the big event.

The rain managed to dissipate long enough for the regular activities to still take place. These included Busking & Pavement Art Competitions, Street Parades-including vintage vehicles & hot-rods, Market Stalls & much much more. Indoors local vignerons displayed & offered their products for tasting, Henry Lawson's birthday cake was cut in a ceremony attended by town officialdom and locals & visitors alike kicked up their heels at the Bush Dance.

As evening descended on the Saturday, Gulgong's "Opera House" became the centre of attention for the annual Literary awards sponsored by Country Energy & The Land newspaper. Up for grabs those beautifully crafted "Henry" figurines & a substantial amounts of prizemoney. (See winners list attached).

Sunday saw the Hunter Bush Poets officiate a Poets Breakfast & "Just Henry" session where only the masters work was allowed to be recited and the night time concert, "Tales of the Swag" saw Des Kelly & friends present the song, verse & humour of the Australian bush as seen in Lawson's times.

The Festival was also visited by Melbourne school teacher and thespian James Howard who had taken on the persona of Henry Lawson for the weekend and performed in costume on many occasions. It truly took one back in time to see the new "Henry" slouched on a bench in the main street or leaning from the door of a public house enticing fellow poets to join him. Most did.

Organised by the Henry Lawson Society of NSW and run by Secretary Cheryl Peters (and her committee & volunteers) the event is indeed a drawcard for the best writers & performers in the country.

Graeme was indeed thrilled and honoured to win the Adult Literary Award (with his poem entitled "Poles & Wires"-see Lyrics page of this Website for complete poem) and share the stage with other poetic luminaries such as Arthur Green, David Campbell, Ellis Campbell, Ron Stevens, Allan Buggy and other competitors, Vivienne Ledlie, Joyce Alchin, Ian Ridgway & Irene Timpone.

To add to the "Rhymer's" delight, he also picked up a Highly Commended in the Leonard Teale Memorial Performance section with a poem by Peter Willey & Mathew Hobbs entitled "Rhymin Bill from Broken Hill" which is available on Graeme's first CD "Land Ho!"

 

Henry Lawson Heritage Festival 2007 Competition Results

Adult Written:

First: Graeme Johnson
Second: Arthur Green
Third: David Campbell
HC: Melanie Hall, Ellis Campbell, Jacqueline Winn

 

Country Energy Leonard Teale Memorial Performance Poetry:

First: Lisa Quast
Second: Terry Regan
Third: Ellis Campbell
HC: Graeme Johnson, Ron Stevens, Tony Price

Other Updated Competition Results for 2007**************************

Man from Snowy River Festival
Corryong Victoria April 07

 

Aussie Comedy Section

Second: Graeme Johnson

 

Australian Bush Poetry Championships March 07

 

Traditional Section

Third: Graeme Johnson

 

Tamworth Country Music Festival 07
Golden Damper Performance Comp

 

Established Section

Third: Graeme Johnson

 

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