Open Sesame



Michael Farrell is highly regarded for the unique rhythms and the gestural and comic qualities of his poetry. His poems set language, syntax and punctuation in motion, heightening the expression of wonder, drama, attitude: or simply relishing the richness and resonance of each new word situation. His new collection, open sesame, includes sonnets derived from Edna St Vincent Millay (‘saints & or’) and from the British police drama The Bill, a sestina on John F. Kennedy set in a laundry, an improvised parody (‘et tu supermarket’), an Oulipo poem (‘debit of a pirate kino’), and four long poems on friendship. The book concludes with a series of collage poems, including one which takes its cue from the legendary Phar Lap. An earlier version of open sesame won the Barrett Reid award for a radical poetry manuscript.

Michael Farrell’s previous collections include living at the z, ode ode, BREAK ME OUCH, a raiders guide (published by Giramondo in 2008), thempark and thou sand. He co-edited the anthology Out of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay and Lesbian Poets, and has published reviews and essays on poetry. He is the winner of the 2012 Peter Porter Poetry Prize.

‘The playfulness is thoughtful, intellectually serious and absolute. This poetry can be unsettling, and its abstract music is passionate as well as parodic. Farrell’s fractured narratives seem to settle in the reader’s mind where they become a form of pure lyricism.’
Barrett Reid Prize Citation


Print ISBN : 978-1-920882-84-6
pp : 128
July 2012

Michael Farrell’s previous collection a raiders guide was published by Giramondo in 2007. His first book ode ode was shortlisted for the Age Poetry Book of the Year Award in 2003. He has edited poetry features for slope, Cordite Poetry Review, and ecopoetics, and produced a poetry CD for Meanjin. He recently won ABR‘s Peter Porter Poetry Prize.


open sesame was shortlisted for the 2012 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards in the poetry category.

Alan Loney’s launch speech 


Cordite review by John Hawke.
Shearsman Books review
The Australian review
Australian Book Review