Kathy’s queen of bush poets

November 02, 2017

Winner of the Herb McCrum Poetry Award Kathy Vallance with Kyabram Lions Club president Sandi Donaldson.

Kyabram Lions Club president Sandi Donaldson with Johnny Johanson Yarnspinning Award winner Jim Carlisle.

AN enthusiastic crowd of more than 100 people gathered recently at Kyabram Club to enjoy ‘‘Around the Campfire’’, a bush poetry night featuring recitals from some of the country’s top poets.

While the spread of talent made selecting a winner difficult, it was state and national award-winning poet Kathy Vallance from St Arnaud who took home the prestigious Herb McCrum Poetry Award.

Col Milligan from Benalla and Ken Jones from Bendigo also gave engaging performances.

As the night rolled on to the yarn-spinning segment, the audience members were kept on the edge of their seats — and in stitches.

Jim Carlisle won the coveted Johnny Johanson Yarnspinning Award, while Les James from Shepparton, Alex Allitt and Keith Platfuss from Deniliquin, Ross Vallance from St Arnaud and Les Parkinson from Kyabram also provided fantastic performances.

Famed bush poet and author David Campbell from the Mornington Peninsula was announced as this year’s winner of the Betty Ollie Written Poetry Award, which attracted entries from all over Australia.

‘‘It was a fantastic night,’’ organiser David Livsey said.

‘‘The whole audience was entertained by these award-winning poets.’’

Local bush poet Mick Coventry was MC on the night, which kicked off with recitals from the local schoolchildren who won the junior bush poetry competition the day before.

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