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Geoff Goodfellow is as tender as he is tough . . . as hard as he is soft. He is a walking contradiction. Read 'A Mirror to my Childhood' from Poems for a Dead Father . . . reflect on the content . . . and you too will be convinced.

Throughout his twenty year career in poetry, he has revealed a considerable capacity for listening and close observation. His first collection No Collars No Cuffs, first published in 1986, is now in its 9th printing. Eight books have followed, most running into multiple print runs. His most recent collection Punch On Punch Off (Vulgar Press) was launched in Adelaide on September 30, 2004 in a first printing of 3,500 copies. Seeing as the majority of poetry collections in Australia are released in runs of approximately 500 copies, this demonstrates the publisher's faith in Goodfellow's popularity and appeal.

Geoff grew up in the inner-northern suburbs of Adelaide in a war-service group scheme house with parents John and Lois, elder sister Annette and younger brothers Mark and Brian. He left school at fifteen and worked in a variety of semi-skilled jobs before beginning to write poetry in his early thirties, after a severe back injury brought about his early retirement from the building industry.

His career as a writer has included bouts as writer-in-residence in places ranging from St Ignatius' College at Lane Cove to 'B' Division at Yatala Gaol, from York University in Toronto to a national Australian touring residency taking poetry to building workers.

He writes with a 'contrived simplicity', detailing the lives of seemingly ordinary people. It is however, his poet's eye for the micro, rather than the macro, that allows him to focus on and dramatise a single crucial moment or situational aspect, to suggest much more the extraordinary.

His work often provides a public voice for those living close to the margins and who are generally under-represented in contemporary literature. He continues to use his own versatility to assist other people find their voice.

As writer-in-residence at various universities Geoff has toured Cuba, the USA, Canada, the UK, Europe and China and has been a guest at many major literary festivals.

Geoff Goodfellow wins ABC TV Poetry Competition. Read the full article.

Jane Sullivan's piece on me in the Age, Sat 30 October 2004

Mark Seymour Singing A Geoff Goodfellow song - Tobruk Pin

punch on punch off poster series

Check out Phil Doyle's discussion of my work in the September 2004 Workers Online

images from recent launches

 

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