Fund-raising poetry collection Back Block Bards celebrated its one-year anniversary on Sunday 13 October with a total of $75,000 donated to the Dementia Australia Research Foundation (DARF).
Back Block Bards is an anthology of bush poetry written by members of the one family spanning four generations. While all the poets were born and bred in the Hillston and Ivanhoe areas, their life’s journeys have seen some settle in places as far flung as Gundaroo, Hungerford and Tooraweenah.
A spokesperson for the group, Heather Frewin, said that reaching the dizzying heights of $75,000 “was not even on our radar” when the book was launched.
“We thought it would be great to be able to donate $30,000 to DARF, and any more would be a bonus,” she said.
“Ultimately, it’s all down to the support of the wonderful Australian public. We were overwhelmed at a recent clearing sale when the vendor donated the proceeds from the sale of hay to the cause. A donation like this is just so generous.”
In August, Back Block Bards featured on the ABC’s “Back Roads” program hosted by Heather Ewart.
The poets have travelled thousands of kilometres on a recitals tour, including appearances at Casino Beef Week, Hungerford Field Days and most recently at Barellan’s Good Old Days Weekend.
Ms Frewin said under the current drought conditions, small town get-togethers were an important way of keeping the social cohesion of the communities intact.
“Back Block Bards is proud to be part of these events’” she said.
Books cost $25 each and can be purchased online at BackBlockBards.org.au
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