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In Schools: Text


In Schools: Text


Geoff Goodfellow SCHOOL SEMINARS are designed to suit the needs of years 9, 10, 11 and 12 students as well as adult re-entry. Session times are negotiable but 90 minutes is suggested and recommended.

Geoff Goodfellow simply tells 'stories', and the 'stories' work, on and off the page. Goodfellow's working-class background coupled with his laconic, 'no-nonsense' style of delivery, has given his poetry an authenticity which audiences can identify and connect with.​

Go to testimonials from school teachers who have witnessed Geoff at work

SCHOOL SEMINARS include performances of a variety of his poems along with insights and valuable information into how poems are constructed.

  • Discussing the benefits of writing about known and lived experiences.

  • Showing the 4,5 or 6 drafts necessary to bring a poem to publication standard.

  • Explanations of aspects of particular poems, giving clear and detailed advice on applied technique.

  • Discussion of tone, and showing by example, how and why variation occurs.

  • Advice on how students can apply follow-up to a SCHOOL SEMINAR by making use of the downloadable study guides for Poems for a Dead FatherPunch On Punch Off and Waltzing with Jack Dancer designed by a leading S.A. English teacher.

  • And of course, a question and answer period is included and encouraged.

A Geoff Goodfellow SCHOOL SEMINAR will entertain and inform. Goodfellow's performances are legendary. He is an Adelaide poet with an international reputation and a repertoire which ensures that everyone, even the most strident, disinterested student, will be engaged somewhere during his performance. Exposure to a 'live poet' must rate as an important educational experience if we are to open up young people to a larger world.

In his SCHOOL SEMINARS, Geoff demonstrates to students how his method of operation is simply to listen carefully and garner an understanding of how people use language in particular situations - (and those situations are wide and varied). At the same time, he provides an understanding of how he observes too, the customs and attitudes that prevail within these different areas. He then shows how he sums them up, neatly and often very powerfully, in a page or so of hard-hitting poetry.

His poetry is generally 'ISSUES BASED'…and covers topics such as:

  • domestic violence

  • racism

  • drug & alcohol abuse

  • post-traumatic stress disorder

  • power struggles

  • imprisonment

  • sexual abuse

  • mental health issues

  • asylum seekers

  • industrial & employment issues

  • parental conflict

  • growing up

  • relationships

  • love

  • death

Please Note:

  • Some adult themes may include strong language.

  • Student numbers are not restricted for SCHOOL SEMINARS.

  • Small group active writing workshops are also available by negotiation.

  • Large format A2 'Appearing Here' display posters can be supplied to promote your Geoff Goodfellow SCHOOL SEMINAR.

To arrange for student interviews with Geoff Goodfellow for major projects or advice on source material:

In Schools: Services



This guide complements the study of Poems for a Dead Father by Geoff Goodfellow, for Senior Secondary and Adult students.

Poems for a Dead Father is a narrative of remembering which takes us back through a violent childhood, while painting a picture of the man who taught Geoff love, loyalty and laughter.

The guide offers a selection of activities to help students form a deeper understanding of some of the themes and issues raised in the poems.

The suggestions and models offered in the guide can be used as springboards to student writing.


This guide complements the study of Punch On Punch Off by Geoff Goodfellow, for Senior Secondary, VET and Adult students.

Punch On Punch Off is a powerful, often confronting book about what it feels like to be a worker, both blue and white collar, and the impact the workplace can have on workers and their families.

The guide offers a range of activities and information to help students form a deeper understanding of some of the issues raised in the collection of poems.

Punch On Punch Off aims to alert students to some of the potentially hazardous, inequitable conditions of the workplace.

It also celebrates the rich cultural diversity that exists in the Australian workforce and challenges students to delve more closely into where this all began.


This guide complements the study of Waltzing with Jack Dancer by Geoff Goodfellow for Senior Secondary, VET and Adult students.

Waltzing with Jack Dancer is a powerful record in poetry, photos and prose of one man’s journey with cancer. The book allows us inside – the ward, the MRI scanner, the operating theatre; and into the feelings that this alien world creates.

Geoff’s book documents a fight between frailty and strength, written by a man who is always up for a fight.

Grace Goodfellow’s remarkable prose piece, ‘The C Word’ shows it’s not just the person who has cancer who feels its effects.

The guide offers a range of activities and information to help students form a deeper understanding of some of the issues raised and techniques used in the selection of poems.

The suggestions and model offered can be used as springboards to student writing.

In Schools: Files
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