Nearly a decade since the release of his last book, Moree’s own poet and Australia’s favourite yarnspinner Murray ‘Muz’ Hartin has just released his latest ‘best-of’ collection of poems and columns featuring some brand new yarns.
This latest offering, Fair Crack of the Whip, was released just before Christmas and in true Muz style is a collection of totally Aussie, character-filled stories which promises to have readers laughing one minute and choking back tears the next – “but mostly you’ll be laughing – a lot”.
“It’s a good dunny book,” Muz laughed.
“You can read it in blocks, which makes it a book you can go back to.”
Fair Crack of the Whip is a collation of Muz’s best heart-warming and hilarious yarns, including his most well-known poems – his career-making Turbulence about the late great Alice Springs’ cattleman Billy Hayes and the haunting Rain from Nowhere about drought and depression which is now as relevant as ever.
It also features a collection of the columns Muz wrote for the Moree Champion, Northern Daily Leader, Newcastle Herald and The Border Mail during his years as a journalist in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
“I worked out I wrote 170 columns when I was working in newspapers,” Muz said.
“They were about little stories that would have been in the news, things I thought deserved more comment. So I’d write an 800-word column.”
There’s also some never-before-published new material including a tribute poem for mining magnate Gina Rinehart, who played a role in the creation of Muz’s latest book.
Fair Crack of the Whip is Muz’s fifth book, but his first launched with a publisher.
He wasn’t planning on putting together another book anytime soon as he didn’t have enough material to “justify” it, however a chance meeting with publisher Michael Wilkinson at the launch of Gina Rinehart’s book, Things we Love (which includes Muz’s poem Rain from Nowhere), resulted in a book deal and a book six months later.
Fair Crack of the Whip was published on December 2 and is currently available for purchase online and at a number of bookstores, as well as at various locations around Moree, including Wise Words Bookshop, Sullivans Newsagency, Balo Square Newsagency, The Royal Hotel and Agriware.
Moree Golf Club is hosting a book launch and signing at 7pm this Saturday, January 11. All are welcome to come along, pick up a signed copy of the book, get together with mates and have a laugh while listening to Muz spin some of his classic yarns, including The Legend of Bobby McGee which mentions a few local golfers.
Muz will also be doing a book launch in at the Pirates Rugby Club in Tamworth on January 25 during the Tamworth Country Music Festival, which launched his poetry career back in 1987.