SIGNED COPY: Rupert McCall signs a copy of his new poetry book for long-time fan Dennis Lees at Riverlink Shopping Centre.
SIGNED COPY: Rupert McCall signs a copy of his new poetry book for long-time fan Dennis Lees at Riverlink Shopping Centre. David Nielsen

MODERN-DAY wordsmith Rupert McCall brought poetry to the people of Ipswich yesterday.

Fans old and new, including Mayor Paul Pisasale, gathered to hear the poet read from his latest book in Riverlink.

McCall said many poems in his Antiqua collection were inspired by Australian and international events, which meant they struck a chord with many people.

"It's what's in front of me that inspires me, what's happening and it's what people relate to, especially things like Anzac Day, 9/11 and other events," he said.

He said his passion for poetry and pride in Australian culture helped drive his success.

"I think it's a little harder to become known as a poet these days because there are so many other forms of communication - you have to fight a little bit harder to make people feel the same way about poetry as you do," McCall said.

Many of McCall's poems are tributes, including A Fire-fighter's Dream, which was written about 9/11, Steve Irwin tribute The Crocodiles Are Crying, and 90 Years Ago - a poem about Gallipoli.

Cr Pisasale said McCall's choice of subject matter and knack for poetry made his work very moving.

"I invited him to come to Ipswich because he's a great Australian," Cr Pisasale said.

"You get goosebumps when you read his poems, and Ipswich people today got the chance to listen to them live."

When asked about inspiration for future poems, McCall said the retirement of Ricky Ponting deserved to be remembered properly.

"I've done a few tributes to sporting heroes, including to Petero Civoniceva when he played his last game, but everyday heroes can be just as inspiring," he said.

There's a great tradition of poetry in this region and I'm proud to be a part of it.

For more information see rupertmccall.com.au



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