Tug Dumbly is the pen and stage name of Geoff Forester. He is a Nowra-born poet and performer who has lived in Sydney for decades. He has worked extensively in radio, live venues and schools, and founded a couple of seminal live poetry nights in Sydney, including the legendary Bardflys in Glebe.
He has performed his poems, songs and monologues as long-term resident-poet on ABC radio (Triple J, ABC 702), as well as writing and recording for radio his ABC-syndicated cultural and current affairs satire The Tug Report. He has released two spoken-word CDs through the ABC – Junk Culture Lullabies and Idiom Savant. His awards include the Spirit of Woodford storytelling award, the Banjo Paterson Prize for Comic Verse (twice), and Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup (thrice). His poems have appeared in the Australian, the Canberra Times, Southerly and the Australian Poetry Journal, and also the spoken word anthologies Shortfuse and Solid Air.
He has been short-listed many times for major awards, including the Newcastle Poetry Prize and the Vice Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize. In 2020 he won the Borranga Poetry Prize, and was runner up in the WB Yeats Poetry Prize. In 2022 he won the Woorilla Poetry Prize. His first poetry collection, Son Songs, came out through Flying Islands Books in 2018. He likes walking, photography and nature, especially cicadas.