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2019 - Shortlisted
Michael Farrell’s latest book is a list and commentary on iconic Australian characters aligned with a number of famous international artists, poets, actors and a ubiquitous Pope. Unpredictable scenes unfold under Farrell’s laconic gaze and voice, sharks, Uluru, the Magic Pudding and an emu in police uniform facing hippogriffs, impalas, androids and Rome. The constant juxtapositions are both disconcerting and highly amusing.
The effect of this poet’s seemingly random associations goes beyond the intentional meaninglessness of surrealism, as an individual point of view emerges despite the deliberate avoidance of traditional grammatical connections. With characteristic flair and impressive risks with language, these poems are startling in their evocations of history and place, and the results are often equally dark and hilarious. I Love Poetry is a celebration of the senses and imagination.