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Dransfield, Elspeth

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Michael Dransfield: A Retrospective

Picture of Michael Dransfield: A Retrospective
Always controversial, poet Michael Dransfield's life story has tended to obscure his talent and achievement. Tales of drugs, sexual ambiguity and mythical and ancestral kingdoms have become iconic in the story of Michael Dransfield. However, he was much more. Visionary, poet-ecologist, minstrel, a writer of remarkable dexterity and versatility, he published four collections in three years and another three appeared after his death at 24. While never simply a young poet of his age - the late 60s and early 70s - he was connected to the popular culture of his time and place. He intended to change the world, and believed in the power of his own voice. Linguistically innovative and ahead of his time in so many ways, he also looked back. He was undoubtedly one of the great poets writing in English in his era, whose resonances are increasingly pertinent. Dransfield links the innovations of late twentieth-century Australian poetry with that revolutionary implosion of Ern Malley. This is the first publication of Michael Dransfield selected poems, gathered from every book in his relatively considerable output. They were chosen by poet and critic John Kinsella, whose lively Introduction positions this indelible Australian poet at an international level.