Dubious Evidence Skelton Was Chinese

Michael Farrell

He lived before there was an air indexHe chopped up Latin like a pickled vegetableWhen he walked under a bird they stopped singinglike a lightHis longest poems contained no wordsHe only picked up a lyre if someone else pickedup a paintbrush. He was prevented buying kelpat marketsWhenever he crossed the road heswerved like he was trying to sell a shirt withthe word ‘dirty’ on it, but only if the buyer caredwhat itmeant. When in his room, thinkingabout Henry VIII, he also wondered about thebest way to clean his clothes, and where he’d lefthis keySkelton had a large turtle that hedonated to a church park. Yet even after he’dsaid his farewells, he would visit the turtle andfeed itsurreptitiously. He’d give bread to hisstudent before he thought of his own needsAnd managed to find ways to survive the prince’sparties

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Michael Farrell’s collections published by Giramondo include a raiders guide (2008); open sesame (2011), shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award for Poetry; Cocky’s Joy (2015), shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry; and I Love Poetry, which won the 2018 Queensland Literary Award for Poetry and was shortlisted for the 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Award. Farrell’s latest collection is Googlecholia (2022).

Penrith, Austria

LONGLISTED: ALS Gold Medal 2023

The new poetry collection by Michael Farrell, winner of the Judith Wright Calanthe Award.

The Judith Wright Calanthe Award is Australia’s most prestigious poetry prize. Its award to Michael Farrell marks him out as one of our most important poets. There is no one like him for his souped-up surrealism, the range of his images, his wit and playfulness, his satirical takes on contemporary life.

"In the great tradition of queer Australian landscape poetics…Farrell recombines Australian ecology, history, and mythology into glorious, and very funky, new forms."
—Judith Wright Calanthe Award citation

"One of the country’s foremost poets, Michael Farrell opens a door and invites the reader to step beyond the threshold of disbelief into a new and dazzling world."
—Queensland Literary Awards citation

"Farrell’s poems are about crashing into yourself and your own tastes again and again…they cut close in on uncomfortable, tender feelings before skipping artfully away."
—Isabella Gullifer-Lauriecitation

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