Bush poet Murray Hartin in action.
Bush poet Murray Hartin in action. Derek Barry

Bush poet ready to spin us a yarn at Flix in the Stix

MURRAY Hartin is a skilled storyteller, poet and overall good ol' Aussie bloke. Although his career has taken him to great heights, he still sports a genuine down-to-earth attitude.

"I sleep on floors and bloody tents," he said.

The former Barker College boy from northern New South Wales is keen to deliver some heartfelt spoken word to audiences in Gladstone as he tours with the upcoming Optus Flix in the Stix.

Murray said the spoken word was always something he had been interested in.

"All young Australians develop the spoken word from the moment they are in the womb," he said. "My dad got me into Banjo Patterson."

Patterson's funny stuff is what interests Murray most. In 1984 Murray moved to Tamworth. This was where the real life began.

Working as journalist, the man was quite the wordsmith. His taste for language had a certain flair.

It was this that eventually found him forming The Naked Poets with friend Marco Gliori. The group toured Queensland on several occasions.

Five albums later they had earned quite a reputation for excellence.

Murray said the highlight of his career was having one.

"I've hung in there," he said. "I love what I do. The highlight is that I'm still doing it."

While early Australian poets focused on contemporary aspects of their day, like the swag, Murray said he now had to document what was in our current time.

But that is not to say the swag cannot be used in storytelling of our time.

One of Murray's celebrated pieces is a clever story called Turbulence. The poem can be found on Youtube.

One of his more recent writings is Ode to Black Caviar.

The piece is sharp and highly engaging and was published in The Telegraph last week.

Murray said the spoken word should be a conversation rather than a performance - which is something the witty speaker does well.

Real people and friends are generally who inspire Murray's stories.

"Unless you're writing a nonsense poem, I think the characters have to be real," he said. "You have got to try to keep it real in its origin."

Murray Hartin at the Gympie Muster.
Murray Hartin at the Gympie Muster. Craig Warhurst

Though the spoken word requires a lot of talent and skill, Murray said it was also about connecting with an audience.

"It's a buzz what I do. I've met some fantastic mates."

And for Murray, the gigs are not his only interest - he is an ambassador for Books in Homes Australia - an organisation he is passionate about.

"That's a bonus for me," he said.

Whether making audiences cry or laugh, Murray loves to perform and to have a yarn.

The Aussie raconteur is proud of his heritage and says he loves our multicultural society.

"We've done pretty bloody well," he said. "I think we've also got to hang on to things like the Australian Flying Doctor, the surf lifesaver and modern day solider."

Murray said this year's Optus Flix in the Stix was set to be even better than last year's.

"I'll do my half hour," he said. "A couple of funny ones, a serious one - a really good mixture."

Flix in the Stix will be held at the Tondoon Botanic Gardens on April 27. Tickets are available from Ticketek.