A tribute to Bob McKinnon

In October 2021, we lost a wonderful poet, sculptor, great supporter of WOL and generally bloody nice buy in Bob McKinnon.

Bob was mentoring Linton Sharples, who has penned this tribute to Bob. We’re told the pair were to have done a combined exhibition last year at the Dunolly Arts Hub, and Linton’s collection, Ramblings of a Slow Talking Poet, is to be updated to include the piece.

Details: Linton Sharples aka ‘The Slow Talking Poet’ has been writing verse since his late teens. He is a Central Goldfields writer with an acquired brain injury, and his original work has been shown in exhibitions online at the Dunolly Arts Hub, presented at open mic sessions in the region with poet legend mentor Bob McKinnon, for Words in Winter Central Goldfields 2021 at Maryborough and Dunolly, and for Clunes Words in Winter 2021. He is so grateful for Bob’s mentoring he wrote this tribute to his memory.

It reads:

Ode to Bob McKinnon

Bob grew up on Misery Plains,

Died in Clunes aged 62.

From his family and friends,

Hear the sad refrain.

Bob was a man among men,

That’s why we’re all so blue.

By The Slow Talking Poet.

(copyright #theslowtalkingpoet 2021)

Book Drive is off

We are sorry to say that with the weather forecast for Sunday being somewhat unkind to books, the decision has been made to cancel the book drive to have been held at the Gatehouse (on 3 April). This is very disappointing indeed, and we’re sorry for those who have been saving their stash of surplus reading to support this venture.

This also brings to an end the planned program for Words Out Loud. Thanks to those who turned up on Sunday for Art Off the Page, and to Midtown Cellars, Everybody Knows Books and the Melbourne Art Book Fair for making it happen.

While we might be running the occasional special event and will continue to help promote spoken word in Ballarat and region through this newsletter and our social media, we are happy to put our energy into other endeavours and let Ballarat Spoken Word take the floor with its fortnightly program of events.

We greatly appreciate the support we’ve received over the five years we ran regular Words Out Loud events. We’ve seen some wonderful performances, got to watch writers grow in skill and confidence, and helped make some connections across the region. Special mention to Garth and Nigel, who made such welcoming homes for us at Babushka and The Printers Room respectively, and Rabbit poetry journal for their support with subscription giveaways.

For the time being, this is us signing off, wishing you all the best in life and art, and looking forward to catching up with our friends in spoken word down the track!