geoff goodfellow
media responses & other news


    The Luxury of Work
    The Violence of Work  
    Miles Away  
    Don't Call Me Lad  
    Turning in Circles  
Kleva Voomun
    Poems for a Dead Father
    Punch On Punch Off

study guides   



Here are what teachers
at the coal face have to say
about my in-school performances

We have recently experienced our third visit from Geoff Goodfellow. This year to speak with our Year 9 and 10 students.
   Our students thoroughly enjoyed Geoff reading examples of his poems — stories of his journey through life. His ability to bring characters to life enthused the students — they were clearly able to identify with Geoff and have empathy for the subjects of his poems.
   'Out of the Shadows' was one poem that our students really enjoyed. They were fond of Bobby and since Geoff’s visit I have had a number of discussions with them about this poem.
   The bottom line is that students go away from Geoff’s performances with a far more positive view of poetry and not only do they enjoy reading Geoff’s poems but they are more inclined to try and write their own poetry.
The other result of Geoff’s visit is that students can be more aware of and identify with the struggles that many others face in their own journey through life. Some can even see themselves from a different perspective. A wonderful experience.
Garry Pike
Head of Campus
Leighland Christian School, Ulverstone, Tasmania

Geoff Goodfellow galvanised my students with a reading that mixed aggression, compassion and an unfailing eye for character. His choice of material was perfectly judged and execution spot on. He carries professionalism to a very high standard indeed.
Andrew Peek
Creative Writing
University of Tasmania

Geoff Goodfellow is possessed of the rare power to light up students for whom poetry has been a no go area all their school lives. His presentation style ranges from personal anecdote to riveting insights into the human condition. The intense sense of social justice that is palpable in his poetry is brought to all its challenging power when students are exposed to Geoff in the flesh.
   As a teacher in a private school I love the way that Geoff Goodfellow gives a voice to the inarticulate and dis-empowered in a way that is impossible to ignore. A dose of Goodfellow is often just the right tonic to clear the blockages of indifference and complacency in even our most hidebound students.
  Hire Geoff! The right man for the job is often a poet!
Mark Nicholson
Senior Teacher of English
The Friends' School, Hobart

Geoff Goodfellow is a vibrant, energetic performer, who nails his audiences with a raw appeal that reaches well into the spirit. Students will laugh and cry at once. He brings more than poetry, he brings a window on a life that many young Australians may never see.
Andrew Gibson
Head of School
The Friends’ School, Hobart, Tasmania.

We had a range of kids from year 1012 PES to Standard courses who were interested . . . no enthralled by the delivery and performance that Geoff put on for us. It was highly valuable as he recounted his writing process from meeting the character to drafting the piece (on a typewriter) 6 or 7 times until finally the poem blossoms into the event we saw. His delivery was varied and powerful surprising a number of the students who jumped out of their skins with enthusiasm. He addressed the members of the audience directly and his subject matter spoke to many of them in deeply moving ways, ways that the busy but"normal" school life simply cannot do.
Wayne Beaumont
Unley High School

Poetry rich with life's tapestry of experience; Geoff Goodfellow's passion for expressing our common humanity is very real and very powerful. For youth and adults alike, a highly recommended performance.
Sue Knight
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College

In 2004, I found Geoff’s poetry and workshop still ‘fresh and new’!
Peter Seymour
English Senior: Rostrevor College

As a school that's committed to social justice, we cannot ignore what Geoff has to say. He and his poetry speak loudly of social and personal issues which we would like to ignore or dismiss as marginal, yet which our students, judging by their response, know very well, applies to their lives!
Bill Versteegh
English Faculty: Rostrevor College

You reminded me of the "bodgies" I knew back in the "Sixties" when I first heard you. You've changed.You've changed into a mellow wise story teller.
John Ordon
English Faculty: Rostrevor College

In term one, 2004, Geoff visited Seaford 6-12 School, south of Adelaide. He spent one hundred minutes performing his poems: some "old"; some "new" to a group of year 11 and 12 students.The students, and dare I say it, the teachers were hooked. Here we were presented with a man whoiffered from the stereotyped poet the students were carrying around in their heads. We were exposed to a series of poems equally different in their content. The students were being awakened to the fact that poetry does not have to rhyme.
    As I listened to Geoff's recital, I was struck by the words, the passion and the tenacity of a man who refuses to fit where others wish to put him a fighter.
    Geoff writes from his heart as well as his head, reliving past experiences, some difficult, others humourous. Geoff challenges his audience to move out of their comfort zone. I believe that we respond to Geoff's poetry in much the same ways in which he describes his relationship with his father, 'hating him yet loving him' at the same time. But isn't such a conflict the very thing which makes us think?
    My students still talk about Geoff's performance!
Linley Dougherty
Year 12 English Communications Teacher
Seaford 6-12 School

Geoff Goodfellow’s poetry performances are certainly engaging, energetic and powerful. Students (even very difficult to motivate students) are mesmerized from Geoff’s first singlet clad appearance and penetrative words.
   More significantly though, Geoff takes students beyond poetry as a performance and into the realm of the creative process. He uses plain, accessible language to explain complex literary techniques, the drafting process and how ideas become embedded into his poetry.
    Geoff’s responses to student questions are insightful and respectful. Predictable questions like “Why don’t your poems rhyme?” give Geoff the opportunity to talk about the importance of rhythm and structure in his work. The question “Why do you write poetry and not prose?” elicited this response from Geoff “With poetry you can get in, get out, say something substantial and do it with a minimum of words.”
    Geoff’s honesty, raw emotion and willingness to share his own experiences not only encourage students to read and write poetry but also to value their own life and the power of the human spirit.
Karen Fitzpatrick
Assistant Principal
Salisbury High School

Geoff Goodfellow is now the master of his art. And not just with his poetry, but also as a performer. His ability to explain how and why we write poetry is the best going around. Students at first are slightly afraid . . . then as they realize that what they are watching is an artist at the height of his powers, in control and, dare I say it, mellowing, they delight in his insights and revel in his acute sense of justice.
Lloyd Cook, Head of English, Pulteney Grammar School

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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