Carmel Wooding is crowned overall champion and looming legend at Oracles of the Bush in Tenterfield.
Carmel Wooding is crowned overall champion and looming legend at Oracles of the Bush in Tenterfield. Contributed

Warwick teacher becomes looming bush poetry legend

AFTER a podium finish in the national bush poetry finals in Toodjay, WA last year, Assumption College teacher-librarian Carmel Wooding has been at it again, blitzing the field at the recent Oracles of the Bush festival in Tenterfield.

The annual event, which showcases local stories and bush poetry ran in the northern New South Wales town from April 5 to 8.

Mrs Wooding said it was the first time she'd entered the competition at the festival since being a teenager.

"I went with my parents a long time ago," she said.

"But after getting back into poetry performance and really enjoying it, my husband Adam and I went down for the weekend."

Mrs Wooding entered herself in the original poetry performance section as well as the previously published poetry performance, winning both sections and as a result, took out the overall champion, the Looming Legend award.

"I was absolutely thrilled to win," she said.

"This is a well-known and well-attended competition, there were judges from Victoria and bush poets competing from all over.

"It was a really tough competition and in the end only nine points separated first and sixth.

"It was a pleasure to be a part of and it gives me the opportunity to enjoy that real buzz that comes with performing on stage.

"And these sorts of events give you the opportunity to do that when you've not a professional performer."

The original poem Mrs Wooding performed was Heart to Heart and the previously published work was by fellow bush poet CJ Taylor, No More Letters Home.

"I saw Chris perform this original work at the nationals last year and it gave me goosebumps,' she said.

"I knew I wanted to perform the piece so I contacted Chris and got his permission.

"It's a Anzac poem and I'll also be performing it at the Assumption College Anzac Day service this year."


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