michael farrell

Never Be Alone Again: Hip-Hop Sampling as a Technique in Contemporary Australian Poetry

One of those most important battles of hip-hop’s first two decades wasn’t waged between two MCs at a cypher. And it wasn’t a couple of b-boy crews popping and locking at a block party. Instead, it pitted a hip-hop clown against a puffy-sleeved Irish balladeer.

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A Deaf Rough Trade: Defending Poetry to ‘regular people’

The poem is from page 37 of Michael Farrell’s latest collection, I Love Poetry. The poem on page 37 has no title, so I will refer to it from here on out as ‘37’. Not only is 37 untitled, but it is also without words.

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Knitting A Poem By The Hoover Dam

Knitting a poem for Husker Du by the Hoover Dam And other monuments. The poem looks like a bee (to Knit Keatsianly). Knitting poems by the Harbour Bridge, letting moisture into the wool As it rises, as it sprays from …

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Mysteries of the South Coast

We all need a methodology to live by To take just one example, Catholics are rarely ashed on on the sports field, but public life is another matter. Such unfortunate exhibitions are not beyond the episteme of The Sorrowful Cappuccino, …

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Three Trees

You I put the old apple pie at your roots I try to make you worth searching for, in the blah- blah forest But I’m not sure if I’m trustworthy / ranger material Digital harmony, now that’s something worth striving …

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The radio, for the serial, ’s propped against a turnip to maximise reception It’s a kind of stereo for the neighbour My very head’s a paddock he says checking a hedge for catching pricks He’s been crutching poems since six …

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Or this – I have an autistic child, and when she repeats the whole Catholic Mass at lunch the medical team call it echo- lalia. Dock their lunch says Bruce, say hello to reverse red tape prejudice The trees won’t …

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Unbidden: Settler Poetry in the Presence of Indigenous Sovereignty

Influenced and shaped by some fifty years of Indigenous poetry in English, the last couple of decades of Australian settler poetry have advanced prolific attempts to ‘write (oneself) into the country’ (Van Teeseling 209): producing varied and sometimes radical poetries of regionality, topography, climate, and the histories, narratives and landmarks running through and over them.

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Michael Farrell Reviews Philip Hammial

Poems don’t need condescension any more than we do. If we pick up a book and the poems come to life only at a certain page, maybe it’s our brain that needed a refresh. Philip Hammial is certainly up for a refresh of everyday culture: of foodie-ness, for one, such as in the high school project scene of ‘The Float’, where food is garbage and his art teacher gives him an A; or the vegetables of death in ‘The Vehicle of Precious Little’. There are enough stories in his poetry – represented here through a selection from twenty-five collections – to replace a whole bookshelf of novels.

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‘I Love You’ and ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ Meet at Daisy Bates’

A solid phrase can be hard to grasp. I can say it and mean it here but not there, where Daisy Bates is a conduit. Places where Peter Allen irons the Dadaist blue skies, with the Nolans and a few …

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Michael Farrell Reviews Grant Caldwell

Publishing a selected poems is an act of confidence. While no one who writes poems would want to be judged on their worst effort, a selection suggests these are the poems that – if readers must judge – the poet be judged upon. The act is, however, doubly denied by Caldwell in the qualified title, Reflections of a Temporary Self, and by the front cover author photo: is he asleep or isn’t he? The I-don’t-necessarily-give-a-fuck attitude is part of the package. I qualify the attitude because Caldwell, in producing an eighth book (consisting of poems from six previous books and new poems), clearly does give one.

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Matthew Hall Reviews Writing Australian Unsettlement

In his essay on Charles Olson, ‘Open Field Poetics and the Politics of Movement’, David Herd bridges the geopolitical gulf between Hannah Arendt’s conception of ‘statelessness’ and Giorgio Agamben’s ongoing inquiry into the state of exception, biopolitics and nationhood. Herd contends that:

… [f]or complex and evolving reasons, the modern political state has become, by the early part of the Twentieth Century, synonymous with the idea of nation. The consequence of this was that citizenship came to be identified with national affiliation. Simply put, to fall outside of one national jurisdiction was to fall outside of all jurisdictions.

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