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Poetry with Tug Dumbly

Tug’s workshop for all ages will be neither daunting nor profound. In 2 hrs of fun and interactivity Tug will impart some broad ideas about finding a subject, writing a poem, and performing it for an audience.


About Tug Dumbly 


Tug Dumbly is a Nowra-born poet and performer who has lived in Sydney for decades. He has worked extensively in radio, venues and schools, and founded a couple of seminal poetry nights in Sydney. He has performed his work as resident-poet on ABC radio (Triple J, ABC 702), and released two spoken-word CDs through the ABC. His awards include the Banjo Paterson Prize for Comic Verse (twice), and Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup (thrice). His poems have appeared in many publications and he has been shortlisted several times for major awards. In 2020 he won the Borranga Poetry Prize. His first poetry collection, Son Songs, came out in 2018. He likes photography and nature, especially cicadas. 

About the Workshop

During the workshop Tug will perform a number of his poems and talk about how and why he wrote them, and how he then decided to perform them in the style and tone that he does. Is the poem satirical, serious, rude, political, personal? Is it angry or sad? loud or soft? Is it in your own voice, or the voice of a character? Part of the workshop’s aim is to show that poetry – in particular performance poetry, or Spoken Word, or Slam! – is a broad church, yet the writing of a poem need not be a sacred, mysterious or daunting thing. You can write about ANYTHING in ANYWAY you choose, from a politician to a pair of gumboots. In fact if you combine both all the better! There are many forms and approaches and Tug will show a few of his own.

While the workshop will think about poems in performance, with attendants invited to read and perform for the group something of their own – perhaps written during the workshop – there will still be ideas useful to those not overly interested in reading and performing their poems for an audience. The workshop will have a number of interactive writing exercises to get the juices flowing, with participants invited, if they wish, to perform, or read, what they’ve just written for the group. These exercises will be quick and fun and we’re not expecting Shakespeare. Having said that, it can be surprising some of the great things that people in past workshops have produced under the pressure of five minutes and within the parameters of a given topic! 

Some of the writing exercises will focus on animal themes, and Tug will also perform some of his own animal related poetry.

What you need to bring

Writing materials, and if you wish, a short poem of your own to read.

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