michael farrell



G’dayology

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. I contend that such contemporary work by settler poets presents a continuum – varyingly compelling attempts to write in the presence not only of Indigenous poetry, but also colonisation’s ongoing effects and of un-ceded Indigenous sovereignty.

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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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Put Your Helmet On

get your chewing Gum. get Time like a Man in a tin Frock. in the Field, the naked Butterfly is fending off the Microscope. a giant Sunflower is roaring Seeds at the Enemy. it’s Autumn, and the carrot Pickers bend …

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2015 Val Vallis Winners

Winner: ‘Precedent‘ by Andrew Last That rare thing: a non-ponderous sonnet sequence full of surprising imagery, humour and light touches. The poet is obviously at home with the form, the way they vary stanzas and run meaning from one sonnet …

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War Doesn’t Happen

Face that way and walk out of the building. Face that way and walk out of the room. Keep it comic or dramatic – just not tragic. Separation of drone and you. Separation of drone and you No revisiting past …

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Michael Farrell Reviews Hong Ying, Translated by Mabel Lee

Hong Ying’s I Too Am Salammbo is a selection of poems from 1990-2012, based on a Chinese selection published in 2014. Though almost all the poems contain conceptual, or imagistic, interest (bar some of the ‘city’ poems: ‘Berlin’, ‘London’, etc.), the formal repetition gets a bit wearing.

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Cordite Book Launch: Loney, Gibson, Hawke, Harkin

Collected Works Bookstore, Wednesday 6 May, 2015 I will begin with a bit of spontaneous resentful metaphysics. I am sorry to do so, for a number of reasons, but there we are. If it can be justified at all, it …

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Sid Vicious Underlined by the Tiber

He walks in rubbish like the street. Having risen from The waters like a painter and left his work for the less Nice people to observe. The sea would be punk but’s Too major You Embrace Apollinaire Like a Problem …

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