Michael Farrell is an agile performer.
You feel there's a language being created here
and yet it's your own language.

                             LAURIE DUGGAN

   Michael Farrell looking for his pocket notebook at the launch of 'Cocky's Joy'
   with Astrid Lorange, Aden Rolfe, Sam Moginie at First Draft, Wooloomooloo, Sydney
   photo by Melissa Hardie 15.4.15

Michael Farrell has so much to say about Australian history, popular culture and the field of poetics in this often hilarious yet totally indubitable collection that you'll need to take a few days off work to read and ingest what's going on. It's a kinetic tour de force. US poet Forrest Gander says that Michael is "A pentathlete of innovative form" and that's spot on.

In her launch talk, amongst many other astute comments, Astrid Lorange said "I joke with Michael about the fact that he’s often described as the ‘premier’ experimental poet in Australia. We joke about the word premier, its bucreaucratised whiff of the avant-garde. We joke about the word experimental, here imagined as an aesthetics of ratbaggery or tomfoolery. We joke about the insistence of dominant modes of literary criticism to read contemporary innovations in poetry as difficult, obtuse, wilfully obscure, inaccessible, ‘academic’, or coded. We joke about this stuff because it is almost entirely irrelevant to the actuality of Michael’s work. As anyone who reads Michael will know, his poetry is – far from an attempt to lead as though into battle or office a pack of specialist-poets – an enormously generous contribution to the diverse and intersecting communities of practice that coalesce around questions, propositions, readerships, textualities, affections, socialities, and so on. Michael’s work, which in its spirit and discipline is a constant and intense gift, is ever-labouring towards a poetry that might continue, despite it all, as a liveable form of loving."

Published by Giramondo.

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