Carol Heuchan, Greg North feature at Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival

GUEST POET: Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival guest poet Carol Heuchan and Len Banks from the Rotary Club of Orange. Photo: JUDE KEOGH
GUEST POET: Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival guest poet Carol Heuchan and Len Banks from the Rotary Club of Orange. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

Fresh from three weeks performing at poetry competitions in the USA, Australian bush poet Carol Heuchan has arrived in Orange for the Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival.

Ms Heuchan, who comes from Coorranbong in the Hunter Valley, and Greg North from the Blue Mountains will be the guest poets and will perform at key events throughout the festival, which runs from Saturday to Sunday, February 23.

Ms Heuchan is a published author and while in the US a radio station played her rendition of The Man from Snowy River in tribute to actor Kirk Douglas who had died that day.

Ms Heuchan said she has been to the Banjo Paterson festival at Stuart Town but this would be her first time attending the Orange festival, which celebrates the birth of Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson and coincides with his birthday.

The poet, ballad writer, solicitor, war correspondent, sportsman and horseman, was born on the property Narrambla outside Orange on February 17, 1864.

"I have a great admiration and empathy with him for several reasons," Ms Heuchan said. "Of course for his poetry, but he was a wonderful horseman and my life before the poetry was horses."

She said she particularly admired the stance on returning horses from war back to Australia.

Orange360 general manager Caddie Marshall said the full festival program included story-telling, theatre, poetry, historical walks, music, art and craft exhibitions, school education programs and family-day markets, as well as food and wine events.

On Saturday there will be an afternoon tea at 'Gamboola' run by the Molong District Historical Society. Banjo Paterson in the Garden will be hosted in the gardens of Rosebank Guest House.

On Sunday there will be a Poet's Brunch and Lunch Day at Yeoval with free entertainment and bush poetry; The event will be held at the Banjo Paterson Museum, 43 Forbes Street, Yeoval from 9am to 4pm.

There will also be damper making classes on Sunday at Small Acres Cyder, 12 Akhurst Road at Borenore.

On Monday There will be a Banjo's Birthday Twilight Barbecue at the Banjo Paterson Park at Banjo Paterson Park, Ophir Road from 6pm till 8pm.

For more information and the event schedule visit www.orange360.com.au.