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Arguably the most profound and enduring landscape associated with Australian Bush Poetry is that of the outback, and in no way is that better articulated than the annual ‘Poets Trek’ in Bourke. Every year, poetry lovers, intrepid travellers and lovers of Australian culture congregate in Bourke, NSW to join the two day trek which explores outback landscapes, and reconnects them (and us) with the poetry inspired by them.

The route is that taken by Henry Lawson on his famous 125 mile (200km) walk in 1891 in the middle of burning summer from Bourke to Hungerford on the Queensland border. It meanders through unpaved back roads once ridden by Breaker Morant, Will Ogilvie and bushranger Midnight.

The landscape is redolent of harsh and fearful stories which the early swagmen captured in poetry, song and prose. Within this literature is a strong vein of the supernatural – of events beyond reality, ghosts, miraculous survival and even the mythical creature known as the bunyip.

P’rea Press researches classical Australian fantasy poetry, including Bush Poetry and so in September 2012 we drove from Sydney to Bourke (500 miles/800km) to be part of the Poets Trek. We stood in dry lakes and river beds, deserted woolsheds, old pubs and near lonely isolated graves that inspired poems over a century ago, and trekkers read aloud those very poems.     

For an authentic, deeply satisfying literary adventure in September each year, contact the Back O Bourke Centre