Michael Farrell has lived in Sydney and Melbourne, spending much of his childhood on a farm. He has worked as an editorial assistant and poetry reader at Meanjin and as editor of Slope. He has written various performance works, including the play 'Up Here' which was performed at the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 1991 under his direction. Farrell's literary influences include Joyce, Brecht, Stein, ee cummings, and popular culture. His early rural experiences also colour his poetic work.
Farrell has completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne on experimental poetics in the nineteenth century and, in 2013, was a creative fellow at UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy.
Cocky’s Joy draws on Australian history and popular culture. Farrell was born and raised in rural NSW and as its title suggests, many of the poems in this collection are rooted in the bush, which they present as connected to the rest of the world in magical and often hilarious ways. There are love poems too, and riffs on such figures as the cowboy, the waiter and the assembled family. Farrell’s experimentalism doesn’t prevent him from offering moving tributes, to women and lovers, and to scenes recalled from the past. In fact, it is precisely his eye for metaphor and the unexpected combination, for punning and the letter – in both its verbal and visual aspects – that gives his poetry its humour and energy. [Publisher's blurb]
The Geopoetics of Affect : Bill Neidjie’s Story About FeelingJASAL
22013single work criticism 'My article is a reading of Bill Neidjie's book-length work, Story About Feeling, with particular emphasis on a reading of the work in terms of place and affect. I argue for a new approach to writing about writing about the earth: that is, a new affective paradigm.' (Author's abstract)
Unsettling the Field : Christopher Brennan and BiodiversityJASAL
12012single work criticism 'In this paper I consider the ecological term 'biodiversity' as a metaphor within that of the more generally metaphorical term 'field', specifically in relation to Christopher Brennan's work the Musicopoematographoscope. The term 'field', in the literary context may not preclude, but does not suggest biodiversity: suggesting rather evenness, tamedness, industry, fighting or sport - and settledness. I use the ecological figure of biodiversity not as an indication of a relation between writing (poetry) and natural environments per se, but to signal an attention to survival. A literature that can be compared to a biodiverse ecosystem - rather than a field - suggests the wholeness that health is derived from. I draw on and critique the work of American poet Charles Olson and English critic Jonathan Bate.' (Author's abstract)