Welcome to the ABPA website


WELCOME, membership of the Australian Bush Poets Association (ABPA) is comprised of writers, performers and individuals who are interested in bush poetry and enjoy written and live stories in rhyme and metre. If you have an interest in this piece of Australian culture called Bush Poetry, you are welcome here.

The objectives of the Australian Bush Poets Association is to foster and encourage the growth of Bush Poetry in Australia. By definition, Australian Bush Poetry is metred and rhymed poetry about Australia, Australians and/or the Australian way of life.

To join the Australian Bush Poets Association and receive our bi-monthly magazine, go to our Membership page.

The ABPA keeps in touch with our members through this website (and forum) and our bi-monthly magazine of Bush Poetry news, events, results of written and spoken competitions as well as samples of contemporary bush poetry. Many members have books, CDs and other products. These can be advertised in the magazine. For rates, click here. The deadline for ads and other content for the magazine is the 22nd of the month preceding publication. Magazines are published at the beginning of February, April, June, August, October and December.

ABPA Facebook page Check out our Facebook page.

Changes to Competition Package
The annual review of the ABPA Competition Package resulted in some changes to the ABPA Guidelines, Procedures, Assessment sheets and Entry Forms for both Performance and Written competitions. Following post review feedback some further minor adjustments have been made to the Performance Bush Poetry and Yarn Spinning Assessment sheets.
So that all concerned with the organisation of, judging of or participation in competitions, are in tune with the 2016 upgrades, everyone is urged to re-familiarise themselves with all the relevant documents and helpful information in the current ABPA Competition Package on the Competitions page. Should you have any queries please contact the ABPA Secretary or 
or Brenda Joy, the Review Sub-Committee Secretary. Contacts here.

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


Meet a Poet - Mick Coventry

Mick Coventry

Mick CoventryMick Coventry was born in the Northern Victorian town of Kyabram and has lived nearly all of his life in or near Kyabram. Mick was involved in the formation of the Kyabram Bush Poets in 1995 and has served as President, Publicity Officer and has been Secretary since 2006. Mick co-ordinates the School children's poetry reciting competition that the Ky Poets conduct each year which includes visits to the schools to conduct workshops etc. This competition has been run since 2004 with about 60 students competing each year. This year Mick also took on the task of co-ordinating the Betty Olle Poetry Award and Betty Olle Junior Poetry Award for written poetry.

Mick is a talented writer, although he won't say that, and has been writing poetry for ''as long as I can remember''. He rarely enters any competitions, although he is a regular contributor to the Bronze Swagman and was runner-up in that award in 2000. Mick is an entertaining performer although he has always remained a little on the reluctant side. Mick has an ear for a good story and is most at home as a yarnspinner and story teller. He has won the Barmah Muster yarnspinning title several times, been yarnspinner of the Muster at Benalla twice, won the Pat Glover Storytelling Award at the Port Fairy Folk Festival in 2014 and 2017 and has been placed several times at the Man from Snowy River Festival Yarnspinning including runner-up when it was the Australian Championships in 2015.

Mick was a contributing poet to Carmel Randle's Favourite Poems for Aussie Kids and writes and performs for children regularly, although his children’s poems are not exclusively for children. Anyone who has seen Mick perform 'A Little Boy's Letter to Santa' or 'Barney the Bashful Bunyip' will know exactly what I mean.

Mick has a heavy involvement in several local community organisations like the CFA and Kyabram's Community owned tourist attraction the Kyabram Fauna Park. Mick is a good example of the old saying, ''If you want something done, ask someone who is busy.''

See previously featured poets.

Member Achievements – Mel & Susie on Tour and New Venture

ABPA members and mad poets Melanie Hall and Susan Carcary recently performed at Zig Zag Public School NSW but are soon to open their exciting new venture - A Hidden Gem Bush Theatre. Visit their beautiful and unique off-grid art camp in Lightning Ridge, NSW.  They host special tours, performances and The Mel and Susie Show. There will be daily tours in winter and special evening performances full of comedy, history and lots of local colour.  You can also catch their daily performance at Opal Caravan Park. Visit the Ridge and check them out!

Mel & Susie

Mel & Susie

Hidden Gem Bush Theatre

See previously featured achievers.

Bush Poetry Clubs and Organisations

This feature is designed to share what is being done in bush poetry clubs and organisations throughout Australia.  You are invited to submit your club’s profile (through the ABPA Promotions Officer) for inclusion in this section.

Kyabram and District Bush Verse Group (Victoria)

Kyabram and District Bush Verse Group

The Kyabram and District Bush Verse Group was formed in 1995, the brainchild of former Kyabram resident Grahame 'Skew Wiff' Watt. Watty, who now resides in the sunny climes of the Coffs Harbour region, suggested to Betty Olle and Mick Coventry in late 1994 that ''We should have our own poetry club'', and so the club was born.

The club has maintained a healthy membership of around 25 members ever since. The Ky Poets have members from surrounding areas such as Bendigo, St Arnaud, Heathcote, Benalla, Numurkah, Echuca, Mooroopna and Shepparton.

The Ky Group conduct an annual open mike night called  'Around the Campfire' every October. This event was started by Watty and the Apex Club way back in the 1980's and has been run every year since. The Group also conduct a school children's reciting competition amongst Primary school children from the local schools. This has been running since 2004.

The club has hosted many visiting poets for performance concerts and school workshops over the years and uses the funds raised to continue to promote the school children's competitions.

Last year the club embarked on a new major project 'The Betty Olle Poetry Award' and 'The Betty Olle Junior Poetry Award' for written poetry in honour of our foundation member Betty Olle who passed away in 2015. The group was very pleased with the results of this competition and it will continue in the future.

The club membership includes performers and writers, but more importantly, it includes people who are passionate about preserving our spoken and written word heritage. The club meets on the first Monday of every second month.