Family Trees

Michael Farrell



In Family Trees, Michael Farrell continues to question how humans relate – to each other, and to the nonhuman, the worlds of animals, plants and objects. Inheritance can be a heavy legacy but in Michael’s expansive rendering it frees itself: how do we connect? Through affection, and through sharing, swapping and listening. Family Trees sees the return of familiar characters such as Pope Pinocchio, alongside new figures such as Lord Marmalade, Cherry the ‘Kiama Scammer’ and Adam, a paranoid country English teacher. Presented in filmic scenarios, these characters are often busily thinking, while also participating in more mundane forms of activity – gossip and sleep and work. The book includes a number of South Coast poems that take a poking interest in how language blooms off-track. It’s about memory, fantasy and the possibilities of living in conceptual space. Anything that has roots can be a family tree.

‘Endless, rascally contortions. Read them boldly as an archaeologist … but stay quietly aware that the texts are already affecting your cognitive frame, turning you into their accomplice in the renewing of language.’ – Gwee Li Sui, Sydney Review of Books


ISBN : 9781925818406
pp : 128
Published : March 2020

Available on backorder


About the Author

Michael Farrell’s previous collections include living at the z, ode ode (shortlisted for the Age Poetry Book of the Year Award), BREAK ME OUCH, a raiders guide (published by Giramondo in 2008), thempark and thou sand. His second collection with Giramondo open sesame (2011) was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award for Poetry. His most recent collection, I Love Poetry, won the 2018 Queensland Literary Award for Poetry and was commended in the 2018 Wesley Michel Wright Prize. He was the winner of the 2012 Peter Porter Poetry Prize.