Michael Farrell is the author of Writing Australian Unsettlement: Modes of Poetic Invention 1796-1945 (Palgrave Macmillan). His latest book of poetry is Cocky’s Joy (Giramondo).
All essays by Michael Farrell
Bees Do Bother: An Anatognist's Care Pack
by Ann Vickery
Published July 2021
by David Stavanger
Published February 2020
by Marty Hiatt
Bulky News Press
‘If You Don’t Mind My Arsing’
Rather than read representations of land in terms of the politics they support or contest, what happens when we read poems of politics through the entity of the land? I am suggesting that this is (continues to be) the primary way to read Australian poetry as Australian poetry, politically. (Readings of poetry through lenses of class or other struggle are not primary in terms of their national character, only as they, too, relate to land.) My test case is Marty Hiatt’s long poem ‘the manifold’.
by Bonny Cassidy
Published October 2017
Where Only the Sky had Hung Before
by Toby Fitch
Reading and writing are bodies within bodies and rooms within each other. Fitch’s poetry is exemplary in terms of showing us the possibilities – and impossibilities (like reading in a dark room, like being in spaces we aren’t) – of the reading/writing (or pretext/text) relation. But there is no separate room or compartment where we house our reading: writing brings back all kinds of memories of mental and affective experience, including those involving digital forms, and material art.
by Lisa Gorton
by Lisa Gorton
Published July, 2019
Click Here For What We Do
by Pam Brown
Published April, 2018
A Nose For Furphies: Click Here For What We Do by Pam Brown
Pam Brown’s poems are not inimical to close reading, but they do resist it. What they seem to encourage, however, is a new mode of conceptual criticism: one that thinks about the conceptual on the line – and even the word – level (rather than that of the project, say). The short poetic segments that make up each whole provide (potentially infinite) new takes on the matter at hand: as extensions, corrections, additions, relocations. Brown’s poetry suggests reading as an active process: the poem being made as you read, not the poem waiting for your interpretation.
by Nick Whittock
Published November, 2014
Laconic Stance Drive: hows its by Nick Whittock
‘There are other Australian poems about cricket, but no one but Nick Whittock has taken it for their major theme. For Whittock, cricket – the matches, the players, the history, and its accompanying discourse: of commentary, commodification (sponsorship), and sensation (cricket on the front pages) – is not only his subject, but his medium.’ Michael Farrell on Nick Whittock and the Australian avant-garde.
All essays featuring Michael Farrell
by Michael Farrell
Published April 2020
The Poetry of As If
With each collection of poems, Farrell has absorbed new tones and registers in ways subtle enough that it is easy to miss a decisive shift in the make-up of whimsy and seriousness in his work. And so we may suddenly find, reading Family Trees, that irony, kitsch, and burlesque have started to feel like elegy, philosophy, and flashes of utopian vision.
The Mischief of Technique in What Michael Farrell Does
All this inventiveness reveals to us Farrell’s true love, his pedagogic feel for aesthetics. It is what can keep his humour deadpan and philosophical even as he serves up disintegrated language in novel, variously formed ways
by Michael Farrell
Published March, 2015
Who fries a crumpet? Cocky’s Joy by Michael Farrell
Michael Farrell enjoys a reputation as one of the foremost experimental poets in the contemporary Australian scene. In Cocky’s Joy, while experimentalism is strongly evident, he seems to have struck a superb and playful balance, a kind of lyrical abstractionism that generates pleasure and intellectual satisfaction at the same time as it continues to question and resist the urge to meaning. The consequence is a free-wheeling, idea-shifting, constantly suggestive, sometimes touching, politically acerbic and often very funny book of poetry. Farrell shows himself to be a ludic master, and reading Cocky’s Joy is as refreshing as going on a holiday.