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 thirty-seven year career as a writer, 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. Eleven books have followed, most running into multiple print runs. His most recent books are a memoir Out of Copley Street: a working-class boyhood, and a 148 page poetry collection Preparing for Business, both published by Wakefield Press.
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.
Geoff's early life features in his memoir Out of Copley Street, which has been reviewed nationally in newspapers and magazines.
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 construction 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 to 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 has performed widely since the 1980s. Here's a historical perspective, Geoff performing at a Melbourne nightclub in 1989.
Geoff going off!
"Australian Geoff Goodfellow has been a working poet since the 1980's. A compelling performer his output is prolific and his themes are strong as granite and timeless. A poet champion of the downtrodden, his many books are available to buy or borrow at libraries throughout Australia."