TOILET POEMS: Aspiring bush poet Russell Plunkett has opened a new shop in Eidsvold. Picture: Sam Turner
TOILET POEMS: Aspiring bush poet Russell Plunkett has opened a new shop in Eidsvold. Picture: Sam Turner

Self-described ‘sh-thouse poet’ opens studio on main street

THE North Burnett's self confessed "sh-thouse poet" has opened his own studio and shop in the main street of Eidsvold.

Aspiring bush poet Russell Plunkett has become a well known identity in the North Burnett since his arrival in the region three years ago.

Often found at the RM Williams Bush Learning Centre, Mr Plunkett has opted to open his own studio called 'On the edge of the Billabong' on Moreton St.

He has identified a hole in the market in the form of motivational poems blown out as posters, to be placed behind the back of toilet doors.

"I'm not a messenger, using poetry for my message," he said.

"Every poem has a message for the universe, in every verse."

Mr Plunkett is planning on rolling out what he calls "dunny posters" to pubs across the North Burnett, as a campaign to help with mental health.

"We'll be come to you as a publican at the pub, and we'll ask you to put this at the back of your dunny, or somewhere accessible," he said.

"It's for the guys that are hurting out there that need a bit of a lift.

"When you try to preach to them, they sometimes don't listen, however when you have time to quietly read something like this, there could be one line that gets to them.

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"This could help turn them around from the bridge, and get them back to work with a better attitude."

Outside of his office you can find a mock toilet, where you can find a compilation of his works called 'Inspiring Words for the Dunny Door'.

This niche phenomenon came about when Mr Plunkett visited the central Queensland town of Alpha several years ago, and was approached by a woman while he was visiting.

"A lady came up to me one morning after one of my shows and said 'nice to meet you, I've had one of your posters behind my dunny door for 30 years'," Mr Plunkett said.

"She had moved twice, and it was still there, which instantly made me a sh-thouse poet.

"But four generations of her family know my poem 'More' backwards."

The poet is now looking for grants to fund his dunny poster project, while simultaneously working with the indigenous community on translating one of his poems.

"We've recently translated the poem 'My land, my home' to Wakka Wakka, and we're currently on approval from the elders," Mr Plunkett said.

"But while that's being approved, I'm hoping to roll this out in the North Burnett beyond in the future."


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