Standing room only at Beaudesert poetry contest

A POETRY reading and art exhibition drew a large crowd to the Beaudsesert Arts and Information Centre on Saturday.

The inaugural Betty Markwell Performance Poetry Competition saw many turn up to hear the recitations from local bush poets and take the opportunity to view the extensive collection of Harry McVey's work.

"We had 25 entries for the performance poetry completion and more than 100 paintings, sculptures and sketches on display," Ms Markwell said.

"I will be running this Performance Poetry competition again next year."

Seija Mitchell won the junior poetry prize while Tess Rowley won the Open Original competition and Joy Drescher took out the Open Traditional competition.

The competition was run by the Markwell family who generously donated $600 in prize money as well as a perpetual trophy created from a red cedar tree planted by Betty Markwell to be kept on display at the Information Centre.

Betty's daughter Glenda Markwell said the competition had been created by herself and her five siblings in honour of their mother, who was born in Canungra and lived most of her 91 years in Beaudesert before she passed away in 2018.

"My mother was a founding member of the Beaudesert Bush Bards and an active community member in the Beaudesert area for many years, participating in the Girl Guide Association, the Bowls Club and Toastmasters to name a few," she said.

"Mum loved bush poetry and we wanted to do something in her memory.

"She was the daughter of Harry McVey, also an active community member, donating his time and artworks to community projects. His artworks and poetry won prizes in many competitions locally and nationally."

Ms Markwell said her grandfather had not had an exhibition in his lifetime so they showed his art and sculpture as a one-off this year.