Bill the Bush Poet

4. Sunday 16th February, 2014 061_edited-1At the age of 9, Bill found a book of Banjo Patterson’s poetry. It started a life long love of bush verse and now in his latter years he can devote more time to learning and performing material penned by the great poets past and present.

Being a farmer, Bill has lots of opportunities to experience bush culture, and this love of the bush is reflected now in his own poems, which are mostly humorous anecdotes about the characters found in rural and remote Australia.

His performing days started round the campfire over a few beers and this led to appearances at the Boyup Brook Country Music Festival. He is now the coordinator for the Bush Poetry section of this festival. This has grown over recent years to an audience of up to 2000, one of the largest in Australia.

The word is out and Bill is now in demand in various centres throughout the South West of WA, including Albany, Denmark, Kalgoorlie, Esperance and Kojonup. He has also performed at the Wireless Hill Australia Day ceremony. As well as Banjo Patterson and other traditional poets, his repertoire includes many popular contempary poets.

He has recently started writing his own poetry on a wide range of experiences, from family celebrations to the challenge of driving around France on the wrong side of the road.IMG_1759

Bill was awarded Runner-up in the 2011 WA State Championships held in February in Boyup Brook. He went on to gain further valuable experience in the Man From Snowy River Festival at Corryong (Vic) in April 2011. In 2009 he also performed at the Gympie Muster, and was a finalist in the 2012 Tamworth Bush Poetry Competition.

Bill is a member of the Australian Bush Poets Assn, and is currently the president of the WA Bush Poets & Yarnspinners Assn.

The journey so far has been lots of fun and wherever it takes him, Bill intends to enjoy the ride