Jack Drake is a product of the bush who has lived
the life he writes about. He has straightened up at the end of eight
hours on a shearing board and twisted his handpiece off ready for
a well earned beer.
knows the satisfaction of riding a horse he has bred and broken-in
with a saddle he has made himself for a day’s mustering. Like
most bush boys, he can handle shoeing tools, fencing gear, carpentry
and welding equipment, and turn his hand to any of the hundred and
one tasks necessary for survival in the bush.
Born in rural New Zealand in 1950, he is now a naturalised Aussie
and proud of it. He has loved words and verse ever since his father
gave him a copy of Banjo Patterson’s verses when he was 10
Initially he self published books of his own poetry called "Duck
for Cover", "Still Ducking", "Dinkum Poetry"
and "Saga of the Dog", but in 2003, Central Queensland
University Press published his anthology of 86 poems plus 6 short
stories entitled "The Cattle Dog's Revenge". This is now
the only book available for sale.
His first CD "The Cattle Dog's Revenge" was released in
2001 and his second CD "Dinkum Poetry" was released in
Jack recites his own works plus other bush favorites, with fire
and gusto to the delight of his audiences both old and young. His
life long experience with horses, sheep, cattle and all bush things
adds a ring of authenticity to his renditions.
Until August 2001, he ran a horse back, trail riding business known
as “Red Gum Ridge Trail Rides” 18 kms SE of Stanthorpe
high up in the border ranges, which kept his hand in as a saddler,
farrier, horse educator and an occasional blade shearing demonstrator.
He has recently closed this business due to Doctor’s orders
regarding some old rodeo injuries, to concentrate on his writing
and Bush Poetry Performances. He has a column on Aussie Bush Poetry
featuring some of Australia’s lesser known bush poets, in
the “Australian Horseman” Magazine which comes out every
His wins in bush poetry competitions include:
- Highly Commended place in th Bronze Swagman Award for 2012 "The
Water of the Wells - Beersheba 1917"
- Golden Gumleaf Award 2004 for Best Original Book of Verse "The
Cattle Dog's Revenge"
- His CD “The Cattle Dog’s Revenge” was a finalist
in the 2002 Australian Bush Laureate Awards at Tamworth and his
latest CD “Dinkum Poetry” has been nominated as a
finalist for 2003
- The Original Performance Section, National Bush Poetry Championship
at the Brisbane Ekka 11th August 2001 as well and wins and placings
in many other regional contests
- The Tenterfield Oracles of the Bush Written Section in 1999,
and Performance Section in 2000 and 2001
- The Asthma Foundation of NSW's “Bush Poet of the Year
2001” in Sydney on 30th April 2001
His books and CDs have sold as far afield as Britain, Canada, New
Zealand and the United States as well as all over Australia. A piece
of Jack’s poetry also adorns the wall of “Café
Oz” in Paris, France.
His CDs have had air play on Alan Jones and John Laws radio programmes
as well as ABC National and a host of regional stations.