Site Modified Jan 29th    Cobbers achievements added to this and upcoming and competitions page 

If visited recently, reload or refresh pages

WA Bush Poets Logo

The Official Website of the





Click here for Assn Membership, Membership Form & Contact details

Some WA Bush Poetry Events are Supported by the
Melville City Logo

We thank them for their generous support

Go to "Upcoming Events" page to see what else is coming  

CONGRATULATIONS  Keith (Cobber) Lethbridge of Armadale, Western Australia for doing what ( I believe) no other Bush Poet has ever done before -     In the same financial year, Cobber is the 2017 Male Australian Champion Performance poet (Toodyay)  , Winner of the 2018 Golden Damper (original Section)  AND  the "Established" Section (Tamworth)  as well as winning the 2018 "Frank Daniels Walkup Award" at Tamworth.

Assn. History

Upcoming Events Competitions Performance Poets Members Poems WA Past Poets Library Links

Our Regular Muster is on the 1st Friday of each month
7.00  -  9.30pm

 Act belong Comit

The Auditorium,  Bentley Park Retirement Village
26 Plantation Drive,  Bentley  6102

see map


WA Bush Poets is supported by    Hon.    Kate Doust   W.A. MLC (South Metropolitan)        
and            Ben Wyatt,      W.A.   M.L.A.  for Victoria Park
We thank them for their interest and support


This website was previously also accessible via  
This is no longer available -  this site is now the only one available



Assn. History

Upcoming Events


Performance Poets

Members Poems

WA Past Poets




rural scene
A simple rural scene can be the inspiration for a tall tale or a quirky bush poem.

So!  What's this Bush Poetry Stuff?

The art of bush poetry and yarn spinning is all about entertaining. It is about telling a story and delivering the lines with just the right amount of humour, passion or feeling and sometimes, even with a touch of the theatrical to add to the spectacle - but mostly, it is just about getting up and having a go.

Bush poetry and the telling of quirky yarns and tall tales could almost be considered an Australian national trait. Since the early days of European settlement, youngsters across this great country have sat on their grandparent's knees and listened in awe as yarns were spun and poems were recited about local historic events and topics of interest. 

These lines of rhymes and interesting stories, some funny, some sad and some just downright clever, have managed to capture the essence of Australia and its diverse population.

Association members find that inspiration for poems and stories often comes simply from experiencing everyday life - it could be the pleasure you get from attending a happy family gathering, or a personal tragedy may strike a chord with you, or you may be moved by the stunning beauty of a rural sunset, a snow-laden gum tree or even the rare sight of watching draught horses working in a dusty paddock.

An Australian rural sunset

A magnificent snow laden gum tree

Draught horses working a paddock

The WA Bush Poets and Yarn Spinners Association's aim is simply to stimulate a continuing enthusiasm and interest in the unique written and performing art of Bush Poetry and Yarn Spinning.

The term "Bush Poetry" more reflects the origin of the art form rather than the actuality.  Bush Poetry, or more correctly "Australian Rhyming Poetry" covers far more than rural topics. Among its many facets you will also come across poems dealing with contemporary and political issues, day to day living, relationships,  nature,  and almost any other topic you can think of.  The over-riding feature of all of them is that they have an Australian theme (this includes universal subjects) and MUST have very good and consistent rhyme and rhythm.  

The term "Bush Poetry" stems from the fact that in our early colonial times, many people, in particular those living and working in rural areas (and this was a significant percentage of the population) were unable to read and write and many of the stories of the times, both true and fanciful were put into rhyming verse (and sometimes song) so as to make them both relatively easy to remember and to relate to others.  Many of the poems were topical and related to political, industrial and social events which were occurring at the time.  Many of these poems and songs have now disappeared into obscurity, whilst others have lost their original political or social significance, probably the most famous of these being our National Song "Waltzing Matilda".  Whilst almost every Australian can sing the song, few know of its socio-political  origins.

The actual term "Bush Poetry" is believed to have origina10 DAYS TO GO !!!!!!!
Hosted by WA Bush Poets & Yarnspinners Association.
Entry forms or or contact Meg Gordon 0404075108ted during the 1930s during which time trends in popular poetry (and other art forms) were for the more unstructured styles.  Some poets were still writing in the style of the old Masters of the 1890 - 1920s era and in order to differentiate these from the more modern poets (whose work largely lacked consistent Rhyme and Rhythm) the "Bush Poetry" label was applied - It was appropriate at the time as the vast majority of  the subject of these poems was about living in a past era when more people lived and worked in the bush than in the cities and major towns.   

These days, the term has become synonymous with the style of poetry of the "Masters of the Past" irrespective of the subject matter and when the poetry was written.  People from all walks of life and of all ages have once again come to appreciate the work of the "Bush Poets" and growing audiences around Australia are enjoying this great mixture of literary and performing art.
During the latter 19th and early 20th Centuries, there were many poets who's work has become a major part of our  rich cultural history.  Two names, (
A.B. (Banjo) Paterson and Henry Lawson) stand out from the others, mainly due to the quantity of  poetry that they produced.  While other poets were less prolific, their work was just as significant.   There were also many poets, whose names, in their time, were household words but whose work has largely been forgotten.  In the first decade of the twentieth century, the Literary Editor of the Bulletin wrote in praise of the Poets of Western Australia,  who, at that time were producing far more than almost all of the other poets across Australia -  and yet in the twenty first century, they have become the Forgotten Poets.  -  I have attempted to rectify this omission by including a considerable amount of their work in these pages.  (See Past Poets)

One major influence in Australian poetic history was the Sydney Weekly newspaper, "The Bulletin".  in 1889, its then editor and principal owner, Mr. J Archibald (the person after whom the "Archibald Prize" for portraits, is named)   made a decision to open his pages to stories and poetic contributions from members of the public.  This decision was to have far reaching consequences, for it inspired many poets whose work would otherwise have never been published.  It also influenced other newspapers of the times to open their pages to "non-professional" writers.

After World War 1, due to various social influences, rhyming poetry gradually declined  in its popularity.  It was considered by some to be a "lesser form" of the literary arts.  Literary commentators and academics tended to dismiss poets working in this  genre  as "balladeers" and "popularists" rather than "true poets".  These attitudes persisted and still exist today in some circles.   The  "common man" however, continued to read and enjoy the works of the rhyming poets, for they told a story, or painted a word picture that needed little interpretation.

In the latter part of the 20th century, rhyming poetry, once again, increased in popularity, particularly among  older members of the population.   In recent years there has been an upsurge of people once again finding enjoyment and fulfilment in performing and writing this style of poetry.  Throughout Australia, there are now many organisations whose aim, like that of the WA Bush Poets, is to foster community interest for people of all ages in this aspect of our culture.   As part of this, there are now many competitions at all levels in which both writers and performers pit their skills and talents against each other for the honour of becoming their District, State or  National Champion.  Competitions generally cater for both the writer and performer of contemporary poetry, both serious and humorous as well as retaining a significant element of the "art" of spinning a good yarn as well as performing the traditional or classic Australian rhyming verse from earlier times.   

As well as organised  Bush Poetry events, travellers in our vast land often find themselves being part of an audience for  impromptu performances at such places as caravan parks, bush camps, country races and festivals, local fundraising event and any other place  where local or travelling poets and yarn spinners find themselves, for most Bush Poets are only too willing to recite their poems and tell their stories to any available appreciative audience. 

Miscellaneous info:  -  Beware
Frauds and Foul Mouths -  members listed on our "Poets" page or recommended by our organisation are all performers of high standard and integrity, their poetry is generally suitable for all,  however, please be aware  that some Bush Poetry, including that of an earlier time does contain some mild coarse language and reference to bodily functions and possibly  "inappropriate" innuendos.   Should you be employing a poet and have any concerns regarding this issue, please discuss it with the performer prior to the performance.  

While there are many Bush poets of high standard who are not members of our organisation, unfortunately, there are also a very few  individuals  calling themselves Bush Poets who do not have  either the standard of  performance or ethics that our organisation considers suitable.  If in doubt, please contact a committee person who will endeavour to determine the suitability of unlisted people.

Membership and Contact Information

Membership is $20 per annum for an individual or $30 for a couple / family.  Membership includes a monthly newsletter, "The Bully Tin", reduced entry fee to our monthly muster and to some other events.  Membership also provides performing and writing members with the opportunity to include their profile, (including for sale products) on this website and to be promoted should enquiries come from the public. Members also are able to put samples of their poems on this website and so inform the public of their style of verse.

The Membership year commences on July 1st

Members also have the opportunity (at a small fee) to have their individual webpage attached to this site.  The WA Bush Poets webmaster can organise a simple personal website for members at no cost, however should more complex webpages be required you will need to arrange to have them created / managed by a competent designer.

Members with existing independent websites will have a link to their website included in their  profile on the "Performance Poets" page

Note - There is a $5 (Annual) Handling Fee for having the Bullytin delivered via Australia Post

For further information about becoming a member of the WA Bush Poets and Yarn Spinners Association or for further details on upcoming meetings or competitions please contact an executive of the Assn:

To apply for membership, download the membership form, complete the details and submit it, with your subscription to the treasurer,  alternatively,  membership forms are available at monthly musters.
Membership year commences in July,  some pro-rata reductions may apply for joining part way through the year - please enquire before submitting new membership payments

Click here for a Membership Form ( .DOC Word format ) - updated Sept. 2017

Current Executive  2016-17

President (Bill Gordon)
WA Bush Poets & Yarn Spinners Assn.

Tel  0428 651 098
e-mail the  president

Vice President  (Peter Nettleton)
WA Bush Poets & Yarn Spinners Assn.

e-mail the vice president

Secretary  (Rodger Kohn)
WA Bush Poets & Yarn Spinners Assn

Tel  (08) 9332 0876
e-mail the secretary

For sending Membership dues and other monies, please write to:
The Treasurer  (Jem Shorland)
WA Bush Poets & Yarn Spinners Assn

e-mail the treasurer

For all Correspondence,  Please address mail to:

The  (Treasurer,  Editor,  Secretary  etc )
WA Bush Poets & Yarn Spinners Assn
P.O. Box 364     Bentley    
Western Australia   


Enquiries about Musters and other events  -    any of the Executive
Library Enquiries   new librarian -  details soon


The editor of our monthly newsletter,
"The Bully Tin"  can be contacted at

Return to the top of this page

hits counter

Send mail to   with questions or comments about this website
Original website design by Lyn Mitchell, Modifications and maintenance since 2006 by Brian Langley. 
Photography by Roy Duperouzel and Lyn Mitchell.
These Pages have PURPOSELY been left simple without distracting pop-ups, obscure menus,  and extraneous information - 
They have also been coloured suitable for viewing by people suffering Irlen's Syndrome, which is a visual discrimination problem
which is sometimes confused with dyslexia and with learning difficulties.

This page's main contents last modified on Sept 10, 2010
minor amendments - ongoing