In 2013 we will be continuing the change of format begun in 2012. This year Micky Bourke's Hitel will be hosting a Spud Poets Dinner - where all poets are welcome to come and read their poems on Thursday night January 3 2013 at 6pm. MC to be announced during the course of the year.
In 2012 there will be a change of format -The Spud Poets Award will be staged as a Spud Poets Night. The night will be chaired by Bill Clohesy, who will also be launching a collection and new publication of his original poems. All poets are welcome to come and read one of their poems. Entry to the event is free. The night was inspired by, Koroit Legend, Mary Fiorini-Lowell who wrote the The Humble Spud. Watch Mary Fiorini-Lowell perform The Humble Spud. Filmed by Australian film maker and Lake School Tutor, Ray Argall, at Lake School January 2009.
The previous winners were Chris Healy with Mas-cav-enger in 2006, Harry Reed with Spud Train in 2007, Francis Duggan with Old Casey in 2008, and Clare Milesi with Soda Scones in 2009 and and Bless Me Father...in 2010, and Seamus Foley with The Hills of Lurg in 2011.
The Lake School wishes to thank Bill Clohesy for providing the trophy which lists the names of the winners and is kept at Micky Bourke's Hotel, Koroit.
The Spud Poets Award is sponsored by Ausmed Publications
2011 Result Seamus wins the 2011 Spud Poets Award with his poem The Hills of Lurg
(Judges for 2011 were Bernadette Walters, Kevin McCarthy and Clare Milesi)
Seamus Foley with Mary Fiorini-Lowell (Bourke) at Crossley Hall
The Hills of Lurg - Seamus Foley
It’s springtime through the hills of Lurg, the country’s green and grand,
There’s people moving from the south, selecting bits of land,
A widow and her family, their horses, dray and cow,
Came straggling through the timbered hills and onto Greta town,
Already touched by tragedy, with nothing much to save,
A husband and a father gone, into an early grave,
They settled on a piece of ground, beside a shady rill,
And they turned their hands upon the land, below the baldy hill.
There’s trouble through the hills of Lurg and all the country round,
There’s people crying out for land, there’s squatters holding ground,
There’s drought that takes what they would sow, there’s nothing left to reap,
There’s poverty and hunger there, enough to make you weep,
There’s restlessness and anger too, redress in short supply,
There’s laws that give no quarter, or ask no reason why,
But when a mother lands in gaol, all reason must allow,
That anger turns to bloody rage, there would be murder now!
They’re gathering down by Stringybark to hunt the rebels down,
There’s rumours flying to and fro’ there’ll be no mercy shown,
Some say they’ll shoot them down like dogs, without a call to stand,
And haul their bloody bodies back tied down with leather-band,
But from the scrub four men stepped up, and tried to hold the sway,
A desperate run a grabbed for gun, a chance that’s gone astray,
There’s a rifle firing, tears and blood, oh Christ it’s all begun,
And there’s three policemen lying dead before the day is done.
There’s war below at Glenrowan, beneath the Morgan’s hill,
There’s troopers come by special train, they’re rushing to the kill,
The guns are firing, bullets flying, women children caught,
There’s people wounded, people dying families distraught,
Down the hillside through the mist, a monster dressed in steel,
And all who saw stepped back in awe, the devil’s here for real,
Defiant to the very end, ‘ye can’t shoot me ye dogs’,
But he’s shot, he’s done, he’s on his knees, beside a fallen log.
It ended down in Melbourne town, upon the gallows tree,
And the grim events of those dark times are part of history,
And there were those who through it all are worthy of acclaim,
While others through their cowardly deeds could hang their heads in shame,
For when the powerful taunt the weak with laws meant to deny,
They’re bound to stand their ground and fight or else lie down and die,
Though they could take their liberty, they could not rule their minds,
For freedom is a heart’s desire, that will not be confined.
The hills of Lurg are silent now, and out the Oxley plains,
The moon shines down on Greta town, and all the country lanes,
The cool wind blows down Baldy hill, onto the fields below,
It rustles through the gable ends, and whispers at the door,
But it seems like no one’s here tonight, no lamplight shows inside,
And no one’s coming home tonight, they’re scattered far and wide,
Yes it looks like no one’s here tonight, no lamplight shows inside,
And no-one’s coming home tonight, they’re scattered far and wide.
© Seamus Foley December 2009.
Mobile: 0400 130 567
Phone: 03 5728 2627
36 Elgin Road, Beechworth Vic 3747
2010 Result - Clare Milesi wins 2010 Spud Poets Award with her poem Bless Me Father...
(Judges for 2010 were Shane Howard, Bernadette Walters and Kevin McCarthy)
Clare Milesi Spud Poets Trophy kept at Micky Bourke's Pub Bill Clohesy MC and Judge for 2009 Spud Poets
Bless Me Father... by Clare MilesiAt Sacred Heart on a Sunday like many a country church
The Spud Poets Award was inspired by a poem written by local legend and Koroit born, May Fiorini-Lowell who read the poem at the Lake School Launch in July 2004.
See Mary perform The Humble Spud on youtube. Filmed by Australian film maker and lake School Tutor, Ray Argall, at Lake School January 2009
A video of Mary reading her poem and a copy of the text are below.
Mary Fiorini-Lowell © 2002
Shaped like a gold nugget The men who first dug it Cried out "Eureka" - its gold we have found But it was a spud come fresh from the ground A spud of humility And abounding utility So full of surprises - one hardly surmises To know all the ways that a spud can be praised So unique in design, so delicious with wine So heavenly roasted, no wonder its boasted That a spud is a treasure of price beyond measure Be it oblong or round, when dug from the ground Coming clean, or with mud Such a shape has the spud, that they say That's why God hid the spud in the sod For man designs war tanks, and bridges and banks And planes and fast cars (He can fly through the stars) But with all his power He can't make the flower Or the little white bud That grows from the spud And the food it provides For the hungry world-wide For the rich and the poor (Kings and Popes to be sure have praised it in prayer) Great songs have been sung in every known tongue The spud has saved nations That's why celebrations, in wartime and peace For the spud never cease O the stories in books which tell of the cooks Throughout all the ages Writ by poets and sages From the Tower of Babel That when brought to the table The spud should be carried Like a bride to be married Of the greatest renown, most deserving a crown Is the much loved magnificent, illustrious splendiferous For all that it di' fer us Lets praise with glad voices, the Spud Spud Poets Application Form