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.
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
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
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.