Geoff Goodfellow was born in Adelaide, growing up in the inner-northern suburbs in a war-service group scheme house. He moved to the working class suburb of Semaphore with his first bride at the age of eighteen and the suburb and its people feature often in his poems. After leaving school at fifteen, he worked for twenty years as a labourer and builder until he suffered a severe back injury in 1982. Inspired by the poetry of A. B. Paterson, he began to write poetry in 1983 and has since built a significant reputation as a performance poet and teacher. Goodfellow has won several grants and fellowships to write poetry and conduct workshops in various institutions such as prisons, schools, colleges and universities. In 1990 he was appointed poet-in-residence with the Construction, Mining and Energy Union of South Australia. He has published a number of volumes of poetry since No Collars No Cuffs (1986) and his poems appear regularly in periodicals such as Overland. Goodfellow's poetry explores the lives of the working-class and the disadvantaged in a straight-forward yet eloquent form.