15th-18th February 2018


2017 was a big year for Bush Poetry in WA. It was the fifth year we have conducted our State Championships at Toodyay. We also hosted the Australian Bush Poetry Championships at that event. Two of our invited poets this year are the male and female Australian Champions from Toodyay.

Sue Pearce has been writing and reciting bush poetry professionally since 2011 and has many major awards to her credit including the 2017 National Women’s Title awarded in Toodyay in November. The love of her craft has seen her perform throughout the eastern states of Australia.

"Cobber" (Keith Lethbridge Snr) lives at Armadale WA, and also has a camp-site at Dinninup, in the Shire of Boyup Brook.  Bush poetry, music and walking through all parts of the State have been his favourite hobbies for many years.  Family and friends are his spiritual contentment and joy.

The other invited guest is Ray Essery, who is without doubt one of the most highly regarded performing Bush Poets in Australia today. A member of the highly successful ‘Naked Poets’, Ray can leave his audiences in stiches with hilarious tales that reflect his years as a dairy farmer, Navy man and Sydney pub manager. Likewise he can dig deep into the kitbag of his family memories to deliver heartfelt recollections of his early life, taking his audiences on a nostalgic journey back to a time when life on the North Coast was just a little less complicated.

We will continue with the Bush Poetry Writers Competition as part of the festival program. There will again be two sections: Open, and Emerging Poets (who have not won a writers competition.) There will be $5.00 entry fee, and $100 prize money for each section, Please send entries to Irene Conner, P O Box 584, Jurien Bay WA 6156 or by 31st January.

       The program for 2018 is as follows:

 8.00 -10.00am  

Thursday 15th  

11.00am – 1.00pm  

2.00 - 4.00pm    
BUSH POETS at the Tennis Club

The Tennis Club will be selling breakfast while poets recite on the lawn by the tennis courts. With many campers coming earlier each year, we have more opportunities to give all poets more time on the stage.


Many aspiring poets struggle with rhyme and metre. This workshop will provide an opportunity to learn how Ray, Cobber and Sue go about   developing ideas and constructing poems. There will be time to ask questions, and to write a poem or two of your own.


Ray, Sue and Cobber are in constant demand to perform at festivals and other venues throughout the country. They will share their skills with us in this workshop.

Both these workshops are free, and open to all interested in poetry. They will be held at the bowling club.

9.30 - 11.30am

Friday 16th  

12 noon – 2.00pm  

HOT COUNTRY MORNING at Harvey Dickson’s Country Music Centre. This will include a segment of Bush Poetry featuring Ray, Cobber and Sue. If you have not been to Harvey Dickson’s, this is your opportunity to see the greatest Country Music venue in Australia as well as hear the very best Bush Poets perform. 


When you return from Harvey Dickson’s enjoy two hours   of Bush Poetry under the trees in the “village green” at the rear of the Tourist Centre

 8.00 - 10.00am  

Saturday 17h  


The Bowling Club will be selling breakfast while poets recite in the bar. Format will be same as previous years as an “Open Mike” program with all welcome to participate.

This year there will again be a “Poets Brawl” one minute poem competition where contestants have to include a given line in a poem that is no longer than one minute. Lines will be available at the tennis club on Thursday morning.  
 $5 to enter, winner (by audience acclamation) takes all

 7.00 -10.00am  

Sunday 18th  
BUSH POETS BREAKFAST at the Main Music Venue

This is the biggest Bush Poetry event in WA and one of, if not, the biggest in Australia. With a top line-up of Country Music Artists and a quality       selection of Bush Poets at next year’s festival, we can be assured the Bush Poet’s Brekky will again be a huge success.

With four programs featuring bush poetry, there will be ample opportunity for all poets, whether beginners or seasoned campaigners, to have a go.

New and regular poets will be included as and when I know who is coming. Thursday, Friday and Saturday sessions will be for all who can make it to Boyup Brook for all or part of the weekend. It would help if any poets coming were to contact me so I know who will be here and when. I can then ensure that everyone can participate in the program.

Camping is available on my farm Northlands, which is only 5 minutes from Boyup Brook (on the Kojonup road). I can be contacted on 0428651098.


A meet and greet BBQ (BYO) will be held at Northlands on Wednesday evening. Any poets, friends and other campers are welcome. Any poets staying on Sunday night are invited to a BBQ put on by the Country Music Club committee.

Looking forward to a great weekend.


Regards           Bill Gordon

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