John Rennick won't call himself a poet. (He probably won't even call himself
'John'). Storyteller, yarn spinner, raconteur, liar, all of these are names
he might use to describe what he does and 'Tractor' is how he is most commonly
Winner of the Australian Yarn Spinning Competition (held in Winton QLD) in 2001 and 2002, 3rd place in 2003, Tractor is a reluctant celebrity in his home town of Forbes. Honoured by that town as Australia Day Ambassador of the year in 2003, he is well respected and loved for his storytelling, humour, good nature and generosity of spirit. Australian folklore is built around the storyteller, the yarn spinner in the corner of the bar or around the camp fire, who brings to life the words, myths and beliefs of the country and it's people.
As far as Tractor is concerned, it is safe to say that Australian folklore is in good hands. He won't call himself a poet, but you just ask him to tell you a poem and then decide, and no matter what handle you choose to call him by, you will certainly walk away knowing that 'Tractor' Rennick is a skilled entertainer, a treasure, an institution, and a bloody good bloke.
These poems and stories are some of my favourites, they represent a broad cross section of material that has made me laugh, cry and look at life a little differently. I have made attempts to contact the authors of these pieces and have received permission and blessings in most cases. However, there have been some writers that I have been unable to contact and though I will continue to try, I apologise if this recording offends or upsets any of the writers or their families. All acknowledgements have been made to the authors and the material is presented in good faith and will hopefully be received the same way.
I would also like to make special thanks to Andrew Hull for the recording of the CD, and Andrew Drane for his work on the design of the cover. I feel privileged to have met and worked with two people with such special talents and thank them for their perseverance in producing this humble offering.