Laurie McDonald

Convenor of the spoken word programme at the National Folk Festival in Canberra since 2012, this multi-award-winning poet writes quirky observations of life, from the humorous to the serious, featuring a range of larger than life characters.

Poets Breakfast

Grab your coffee and settle in to enjoy daily featured poets and walk- ups. First-time poets are especially encouraged. Get your name down early and polish your poems for a chance to win the prize for Walk Up of the Year – a season ticket to next year’s festival.

Fri, Dec 27 8:00AM Bluestown
Sat, Dec 28 8:00AM Bluestown
Tue, Dec 31 8:00AM Bluestown

Poetry Performance

How do you get the most out of a poem? Are you the star or is the poem the star? Learn to develop a successful stage technique.

Fri, Dec 27 11:30AM Small Hall

Raise a Glass

Join a toast to our evocative wordsmiths past and present by our featured poets, hosted by Jason and Megan Roweth. It’s poetry and story to warm your heart, and fire up your spirit, as you gather yourself for the new year.

Tue, Dec 31 4:00PM Small Hall

The First of the First Poets Breakfast

Celebrate the mighty potential of a shiny new year by sharing firsts of all kinds. Hear a last first thought for the festival from featured poets, and join us for the big announcement of Walk Up of the Year.

Wed, Jan 01 8:00AM Bluestown


If you’re cool when it comes to rhyme, you find limericks insanely sublime, grab a paper and pen, this workshop’s so Zen, you’ll be Shakespeare in next to no time.

Wed, Jan 01 11:30AM Small Hall