Wakefield Press :: Biography/Autobiography/True Stories :: Out of Copley Street

Out of Copley Street

A working-class boyhood

Geoff Goodfellow

Out of Copley Street
Australian literary icon Geoff Goodfellow is renowned for his brutally evocative poetry: famously performed on building sites, at factories and jails, and in mental institutions, as well as the traditional schools and literary festivals. Martin Flanagan says he reads 'like an angry red nerve'.

But this playful, tender, richly realised childhood memoir - his first prose collection - reveals the vulnerable side of the working-class boy from Copley Street. Growing up in Adelaide's inner-northern suburbs, Geoff inherits a quick mind and quicksilver tongue from his father, a tender but troubled war veteran (and talented glassblower) who struggled with alcoholism. Geoff's dad teaches him to make things with his hands, staunch loyalty to family, to charm and cajole - and perhaps most enduringly, to tell stories.

So we follow young Geoff as he takes his first job as a milkman's assistant, aged five, fixes up his first motorbike aged eleven, flirts with housewives (and punches out his boss for insulting his dad) in his first job as an apprentice butcher aged fifteen, and hitchhikes to Mount Gambier to work on oil rigs aged seventeen.

This is a poignant snapshot of working-class Australian life in the 1950s and 60s, expertly rendered with the vivid lived detail and wry knockabout humour that Geoff Goodfellow is famous for.

Geoff Goodfellow has worked as a writer in schools, jails, youth detention centres, drug and alcohol rehabilitation units, building and construction sites and factories, as well as universities in Australia and overseas. His collection Poems for a Dead Father was shortlisted for the Age Book of the Year award in 2002. His poems have appeared in Best Australian Poetry (2009) and in Best Australian Poems four times.

Praise for Out of Copley street
'A rollicking slice of an unlikely life. Watch young Geoff find poetry - and a few scraps of wisdom - the hard way. Ears up, chest out, flat-chat, punching on and wising up.' - Tim Winton

'A dry, sparkling clarity, a pure tone that hovers on the edge of laughter: these stories are a revelation.' - Helen Garner

'A genuine, unmistakable Australian voice.' - Ken Kesey
Details
Category
Format Paperback
Size 210 x 140 mm
ISBN 9781743057575
Extent 174 pages
Price: AU$24.95 including GST
Options
Quantity
Add to wish list