Andrew’s poem “Zuiho-in Zen Temple, Kyoto” has been published in the latest issue (# 33, 2021) of Rabbit: a journal for nonfiction poetry.
The poem is dedicated to the memory of Sorin Otomo, a warlord who founded the Zen temple in Kyoto in the sixteenth century AD and later converted to Christianity.
In recognition of Sorin’s Christian faith, one of the dry landscape gardens at the temple has seven stones positioned to from the shape of a cross.
The latest issue of Studio (# 152) contains a poem and a tribute by Andrew.
The poem, “Vikings”, is dedicated to the late Western Australian poet, novelist and social commentator, Hal G.P. Colebatch.
The tribute is also for Hal, and was delivered by Andrew at the Memorial Service held for him on 23 September 2019.
The text of the “Tribute for Hal Colebatch” can be read on this website here.
Poems by the late Australian poet and academic Fay Zwicky have been posted on this website.
Fay and Andrew were friends, although their contact was mostly limited to book launchings and literary gatherings.
(Andrew and Fay’s association stretches back to the 1980s, when Fay recommended Andrew to the painter Donald S. Green to provide the text for a book on The Swan Waterways. Sponsored by several wealthy business men, Andrew and Donald produced a one-off art-object book, which the sponsors subsequently sold for $250,000 to another business man.)
On 6 June 2015, Andrew gave the launching speech for Shane McCauley’s poetry collection, Trickster, and Fay was among the audience. During a conversation after the launch proceedings, Andrew asked Fay if he could post some of her poems on his (this) website. Fay readily agreed, giving Andrew freedom to post whichever poems he liked.
Albeit belatedly, Andrew has now chosen and posted six of Fay’s poems, which can be read here.
The October 2021 issue of Quadrant magazine contains a review of Andrew’s latest book, Abundance: New and Selected Poems (Cascade Books, USA).
Under the heading “Searching the Poetic”, Ivan Head reviews four collections of poetry, Abundance being the second in the set. His generous and erudite review begins:
Metre and notes also need not be far away when turning to Andrew Lansdown’s wonderful book Abundance: New and Selected Poems. Not that the pursuit of either need detract from the splendid accessibility of this large and carefully chosen collection. For instance, “On Poetry”, the second poem, and reprinted from Counterpoise (1980), carries a dedication to William Hart-Smith, who had a significant influence on West Australian poets. Immediately, one can use the marvels of the net to track material on Hart-Smith and the interaction between these two and other poets before returning to the poetry itself. At the end of “On Poetry”, Lansdown writes of his infant son, not yet walking but sitting on his knee as he talks with Hart-Smith:
my son …
our talking with
a short sigh,
and lifts and drops
his foot rhythmically
on the flat of my thigh.
Lansdown is a poet of the embodied and deeply-observed world and, in the end, metre and rhythm in poetry will have more than a close relationship to the beating heart, the dancing feet and all human movement. It is a kind of incarnationalism. Auden’s persona in “The Shield of Achilles” was also looking for figures dancing. To read Lansdown’s new book is to become open to a much wider world.
One earlier publication, Abiding Things, is not represented in this volume. I note that critics of that book said significant things about Lansdown. Les Murray wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald: “He espouses … an aesthetic of small observations”. Rod Moran in the Fremantle Arts Review wrote of Lansdown “lifting the veil of familiarity from the world”, and Philip Salom in the West Australian called him “an imagist of the highest order”.
Micro-observation can go hand-in-glove with a larger metaphysic, even an off-stage metaphysic that is made by the poet’s mastery of the art to serve the poetry, and where the poetry is not a convenient footstool for other concerns that in the end dominate. In that sense of micro, there is something dense and condensed in Lansdown’s poems, a vision lurking. I’m happy to call Lansdown a metaphysical poet. Blake could write in an observational-micro that evoked London in detail, though perhaps his larger vision became obscure in the longer poems. They became seriously esoteric, seriously gnostic. …
Read the rest of Ivan Head’s review of Abundance here.
Andrew has 2 poems in the August 2021 issue (Issue 02) of inScribe: Journal of Creative Writing — “Worship with Water”, a set of 4 tanka, and “Kilter”, a set of 3 haiku. The first 2 tanka in “Worship with Water”, which is set at Hozen Temple in Osaka, Japan, are:
In the temple yard
an old man handpumps water
from a covered well
first for his own ablutions
then for the god’s libations.
Ugly with fury,
the sculptured face of Fudo,
deity of fire …
With their water offerings, do
worshippers quench or fuel his ire?
© Andrew Lansdown
Andrew’s shortlisted book, Abundance: New and Selected Poems, did not win the 2021 Australian Christian Book of the Year Award. What were the judges thinking!
But seriously, congratulations to Stephen McAlpine for winning the Award with his book, Being the Bad Guys.
Interestingly, of the ten books shortlisted for the Australian Christian Book of the Year Award, Andrew’s Abundance was the only poetry collection. The other nine books were all non-fiction works of a theological, apologetic, pastoral or biographical nature. With such a wide variety of genres in the one award, the judges’ task of selecting a winner must have been very difficult.
Concerning Abundance, the Award judges said:
“Andrew Lansdown has spent a lifetime observing, recording, honing and perfecting his art. This collection displays a masterful poet of form and image at home among his family, kingfishers, grasshoppers, puddles and his Lord and Saviour. Play and discipline. Joy and melancholy. Abundance is exquisite, delightful and always powerful.”
Andrew’s tribute poem for the late Hal G.P. Colebatch, “Vikings”, was published in the September 2021 issue of Quadrant.
The poem is reproduced in full in an earlier post here, soon after it was first published in The Weekend Australian in March 2020.
It is fitting that this tribute should now appear in the pages of Quadrant, a magazine that regularly published Hal’s poems, stories and essays for over 40 years.
The poem reflects Hal’s passion for the sea and seafaring, his preoccupation with heroism and courage, and his commitment to the Christian faith. In keeping with the Viking analogies, the poem employs the old Anglo-Saxon and Norse poetic techniques of alliteration and kenning.
The Canadian print and online magazine Ekstasis has published Andrew’s poem “The Biblical Maples”, a set of four tanka. The poem can be read on the Ekstasis website here: www.ekstasismagazine.com/poetry/2021/7/25/the-biblical-maples
Andrew’s latest poetry collection, Abundance: New and Selected Poems, published in the USA by Cascade Books, an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers, has been shortlisted for the 2021 Australian Christian Book of the Year Award. The Award is organised by The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Australia Incorporated (SparkLit), and further details can be learned from the official website, SparkLit – Igniting Christian Writing.
The winner will be announced on 2 September 2021.
The last two issues of The Mozzie each contain one of Andrew’s poems.
His poem “The Biblical Maples”, a set of four tanka, is in the June 2021 issue (Vol. 29, Issue 1) of The Mozzie.
His poem “Ascendant Maple”, a set of three light-hearted haiku, is in the July 2021 issue (Vol. 29, Issue 2) of The Mozzie.
The latest issue (July-August 2021) of Quadrant magazine includes 5 of Andrew’s poems—”So Far South”, “Gleam”, “The Bodhisattva’s Bib”, “A Game of Anything”, and “Bamboo Triptych”.
“The Bodhisattva’s Bib” is a set of 4 haiku, while “Bamboo Triptych” is a suit for 3 tanka. “So Far South”, “Gleam”, and “A Game of Anything” are free form poems. “A Game of Anything” is reproduced below:
A GAME OF ANYTHING
I am watching two little girls
like ducklings tottering
in line behind their mother—
only, they are making a game
of the going, taking care
with wing-flappings for balance
to keep in the lanky shadow
she is casting on the asphalt
as she trundles her trolly
in the late afternoon sunlight
through the shopping-centre carpark.
© Andrew Lansdown
Eucalypt: A Tanka Journal (Issue 30, 2021) has published one of Andrew’s tanka. Andrew has titled it “This Upwelling”, although it was published without a title in Eucalypt. It is reproduced below in the house style of the magazine, without a title, an opening capital or closing full-stop:
it gladdens me,
this unceasing upwelling
there are birds in the birdbath,
grandchildren in the branches
© Andrew Lansdown
The Mozzie has published one of Andrew’s poems in its April 2021 issue (Vol. 28, Issue 9)—the poem “Boat”, which was recently collected in Andrew’s latest book, Abundance: New and Selected Poems. (Read about Abundance here. Go here to purchase a copy.)
There are two outstanding poems missing from Andrew Burke’s latest, excellent New & Selected Poems—”Little White Pills”, from his 1996 collection, Pushing at Silence. , and “Pastoral”, from his first book (1975), let’s face the music & dance.
Rejoice, the missing poems have been found! You can read them on this website, here, and transcribe them into the front of your copy of Andrew Burke’s New & Selected Poems.
Rochford Street Review has published four of Andrew’s poem in its latest issue, Issue 31, 2021:1.
The poems are: “Little Things” (a set of 8 haiku); “After the Fishermen” (a set of 2 tanka); “Times of Fox-Dread” (a suite of 4 tanka); and “Petal Poems, Kyoto” (a 3-tanka suite).
The first haiku in “Little Things” is:
A flustering moth
on the lighted windowsill
in a gecko’s mouth.
. .© Andrew Lansdown
The 4 tanka in “Times of Fox-Dread” were written after a visit to Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto. The first tanka in the set is titled “Possession” and reads:
In old Japan
fear of foxes polluted
Oh, is that maid a vixen?
Is that sickness possession?
. .© Andrew Lansdown
You can read the poems in full on the Rochford Street Review website here.
Andrew’s poem “Prayer” is included in the landmark anthology, The Poet’s Quest for God: 21st Century Poems of Faith, Doubt and Wonder, edited by Fr. Oliver Brennan & Todd Swift with Kelly Davio & Cate Myddleton-Evans (London: Eyewear Publishing, 2016, 457 pages).
Although Andrew gave permission to the editors and publisher to anthologise his poem back in 2014, it was only recently that he discovered that the anthology was published in 2016.
“Prayer” is a villanelle dedicated to, and prayed on behalf of, Andrew’s late mother. It has been published in several of Andrew’s poetry collections, most recently in Abundance: New and Selected Poems, published in the United States by Cascade Books, and imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers.
Andrew’s poem “Vikings” was published recently in the anthology Recoil Twelve, edited by Coral Carter and published by Mulla Mulla Press for the Perth Poetry Club.
“Vikings” is a tribute poem for the late Hal GP Colebatch.
Andrew read the poem at the book launch in the Moon Café on Saturday, 27th March, 2021.
You can read “Vikings” on this website here.
A new collection of Andrew’s poems has just been published in the United States by Cascade Books, an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers.
Titled Abundance: New and Selected Poems, the book contains poems from eleven of Andrew’s other books as well as some previously uncollected poems.
Read the back cover blurb and some sample poems from Abundance here.
Purchase copies of Abundance (paperback – $29.95; hardback – $49.95; post free in Australia) here.
Canadian poet and editor, D.S. Martin, posted one of Andrew’s poems, “The Martyred Mother”, on his Kingdom Poets website on 11 January 2021. The post also includes biographical information about Andrew, and alerts readers to the publication of his new book, Abundance: New and Selected Poems, a book that D.S. Martin helped to edit for US publishers, Wipf and Stock. View the post at Kingdom Poets (a blog by D.S. Martin): Andrew Lansdown*.
Kingdom poets featured another post about Andrew, including 3 of his poems, on 2 May 2011 – here, Kingdom Poets (a blog by D.S. Martin): Andrew Lansdown.
D.S. Martin posts a poem every Monday: “Since February of 2010, Kingdom Poets has grown to become an extensive archive — from across the centuries, around the world, and varying church backgrounds.” It is well worth a visit.
First Things, a magazine published in New York by the Institute on Religion and Public Life, published Andrew’s poem, “This Tinnitus”, in its December 2020 issue. The poems is a set of four haiku:
so whiningly thin!
tiny and tinny and yet
so terribly loud!
its flatline shrilling is so
© Andrew Lansdown
Life Ministries has published a chapbook of Andrew’s children’s poetry—The Maiden and the Unicorn and other poems for children. It contains 16 poems (haiku, limericks, ballads, tanka and rhyming couplets and tercets) from Andrew’s larger collection, Allsorts: Poetry Tricks and Treats. The title poem, “The Maiden and the Unicorn”, is from Andrew’s novel, The Red Dragon.
The back page blurb states:
Hopefully, readers will be similarly delighted with Andrew’s poems for children in this short collection, The Maiden and the Unicorn.
The charming illustrations by Susan Lansdown should clinch the readers’ joy.
At $5.95 (post free), this 24 page chapbook offers readers an appealing introduction to Andrew’s poetry for children. Copies can be purchased here.
Andrew Burke is an Australian poet whose poetry keeps getting better with the passing years. Some of his poems can be read on this website, and can be read here.
Walleah Press recently released his New and Selected Poems, and it is a fine sampling of his work.
The Biographical Note in the front of the book states:
Andrew Burke is an Australian poet who has lived most of his life in Perth. After his birth in Melbourne in 1944, Burke’s family moved west to expand the family business. In his teens, Burke read ‘Beat’ writers, and they gained his interest more than school work. He published his first short story at 18. He has written on a daily basis ever since—stories, plays, poems, and—to feed family—advertising material and videos. From 1990, Burke taught creative writing and modern literature at universities, TAFE colleges and writing centres. In 2006, he and his wife Jeanette travelled to China where they taught at Shanxi Normal University, Linfen, and, on their return, they taught indigenous children in The Kimberley area of North West Australia. He now dedicates life fulltime to reading and writing.
Here is one of the “new” poems from Andrew Burke’s New and Selected Poems. It typifies the quirkiness and kindliness of much of his work.
NOTEBOOK: CAFE POEM
. .a happy face
delivers a ‘large Cap’
. .while my head
. .is down as
I write in this pad.
“Are you waiting on
. .anything else?
I look up.
. .“Just inspiration.”
She takes a step
. .back and
shakes it all about.
. .Stops. Shrugs.
“That’s all I’ve got …”
I write her down, inspired
. .© Andrew Burke
Quadrant magazine has published three of Andrew’s poem in its November 2020 issue:
“Windbell”, 3-haiku gunsaku (or, series);
“The Homecoming”, a 2-tanka gunsaku;
and “Canada Geese Near Canada”, a 4-tanka gunsaku.
The first two tanka of “Canada Geese Near Canada” are:
A spearhead of geese,
fixed on the shaft of instinct,
and hurled by autumn—
how swiftly and straight it flies
south in the threatening skies!
Again, skeins of geese
cross the Wisconsin border,
wearing the sky’s fleece.
And whose heart doesn’t shiver
for want of a warmer winter?
© Andrew Lansdown
“Canada Geese Near Canada” is included in Andrew’s latest collection, Abundance: New and Selected Poems, published in December 2020 in the USA by Wipf and Stock Publishers.
Eucalypt: A Tanka Journal (Issue 29, 2020) has published one of Andrew’s tanka. Andrew has titled it “Evocations”, although it was published without a title in Eucalypt, and without an opening capital or closing full-stop. It is reproduced below in the house style of the magazine:
can ignite or inflame grief …
today the bamboo’s
swollen knuckles remind me
of my dead mother’s dear hands
© Andrew Lansdown
Westerly magazine published one of Andrew’s poems, “Dip”, in issue 65.1, 2020.
Although “Dip” is written in free form, it nonetheless employs (as is the case with many of Andrew’s poems) a one-off, self-imposed syllabic metre.
It consists of a single descriptive statement that unfolds in four-syllable lines arranged in six couplets, each couplet loosely embodying a conceptual unit.
Each line is enjambed, four of them in such a way as to break a word mid-syllable or mid-compound.
The poem employs alliteration, moving from “d” to “p” and “g” sounds.
It attempts to capture in a single, succinct sweep an image, a scene, Andrew saw in Kyoto, Japan.
A little dip
in the broad rim
directs the brim-
where to over-
flow, gliding slow
or quick in drib-
ble, drip or drop,
from the wide cup
of the level-
© Andrew Lansdown
“Dip” is included in Andrew’s latest collection, Abundance: New and Selected Poems, published in December 2020 in the USA by Wipf and Stock Publishers.
Shane McCauley’s poems have long graced Andrew’s website, and can be read here. He is a superb Western Australian poet and has been practising and refining his craft for four decades. He is an erudite poet (his poetry itself offers a glimpse of the breadth of his reading and study)—and he is a generous one, helping other poets launch their books, editing and reviewing poetry collections by other poets, and sharing his love and knowledge of poetry with students in his long-running poetry workshops.
Shane’s most recent book, his ninth, is Sweeping Away the Mandala, published by Sunline Press. Poet Kevin Gillam’s observation about Shane’s previous book, Trickster, certainly applies to this one: “This is inventive an purposeful writing from a master of the craft.”
There is such variety in subject, theme and tone in this collection that it is impossible to quote several poems as indicative of the collection. Nonetheless, for a taste, consider the following two (and afterwards, buy the book from Sunline Press):
THE YEAR OF THE MONKEY
I thought of a ghost monkey—
a cymbal-banging monkey
that was a first birthday gift.
Lone gone, but I still mistily recall
the small triangular key in his back.
A few twists to prime him
into a clatter of miniature percussion.
On his head a red hat like Big Ears.
Why just now should I hear him
applauding down the long years?
© Shane McCauley
ODE TO THE HILLS HOIST
Now that you are
(much) older I have
to crank harder
to elevate the sheets
into the whipcrack wind
to see them floating
like flags like smiles
like great handkerchiefs
like signals like icebergs
like abandonment itself
the hoist flexing
athlete of the backyard
decorated for the neighbours
old towels blouses cobweb
underpants mismatched or
an accumulation of apparel
beneath the whitest light
the washing now done
and gleaming beneath
an Antipodean sun.
© Shane McCauley
The April 2020 issue of Quadrant contains 4 of Andrew’s poems: “Loss”, “Apprehension”, “The Lotus Pod Innovations”, and “Unleafed Weeping Cherry”.
“Loss” is a villanelle; “The Lotus Pod Innovations” is a 3-tanka gunsaku; “Unleafed Weeping Cherry” is a 2-tanka gunsaku; and “Apprehension” is written in rhyming couplets.
As we amble in autumn in Nara Park,
where cherries and gingkoes are turning stark
and stags scent the heat of hinds on the breeze,
my soul apprehends as my sight perceives
the heart-shaped leaves of the Chinese tallows,
crimson as blood from the Man of Sorrows.
© Andrew Lansdown
“Apprehension” is included in Andrew’s latest collection, Abundance: New and Selected Poems, published in December 2020 in the USA by Wipf and Stock Publishers.
Eucalypt: A Tanka Journal (Issue 28, 2020) has published one of Andrew’s tanka. It is reproduced below in the house style of the magazine:
in the darkness
lifting a piece of kindling
from the woodpile—
that appalling gummy sound
of a redback’s web, ripping
© Andrew Lansdown
Andrews poetry collection, Distillations of Different Lands, was reviewed by Paul Grover in Studio magazine, Number 149, 2020. The review begins:
Andrew Lansdown’s new book of poems is a heartfelt journey into lands beyond and within. This is Andrew’s fifteenth book of poetry. Studio has published four of his poetry books, Abiding Things – poems, stories, essays, Allsorts – poetry tricks and treats and both his stunning Japanese photographs and poetry books. In this new collection the titles of the four parts of the book convey the breadth and depth of these poetic journeys: Heartland, Japan, Homeland, America. The title of the opening poem in Heartland, ‘Sketches of Life’, captures the spirit of this collection, as Andrew explores with raw emotion the playful joy and innocence of young grandchildren, the scraped-back pain from the death of his younger brother, and the depths of intimacy in love, birth and family. …
Continue reading Paul Grover’s review here.
Andrews fantasy trilogy, The Chronicles of Klarin, was reviewed by Ian Keast in Studio magazine, Number 148, 2020. The review begins:
One of my earliest memories of childhood is my father reading The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis to me. Favourite sections were read, again and again. So began a lifelong interest in the genre of fantasy.
Andrew Lansdown is a familiar name to Studio readers. We associate him as the poet whose writing has graced the pages of this journal for many years. What is not as well known is that he has written three fantasy novels: With My Knife (1992); Dragonfox (1997); The Red Dragon (2006); and now they have been republished in this trilogy, The Chronicles of Klarin. Having read them as separate novels when they were published, it is a great pleasure to re-read the trilogy. Like all worthwhile fantasy, they offer much from re-reading their rich imaginative worlds.
In 2001, Lansdown published an essay, In Defence of Fantasy. As the title suggests, he wanted to present a lucid defence of the integrity of the genre. After all, as he states, it has seen notable practitioners—C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and George MacDonald—to name a few. Fantasy is defined as, extraordinary and remarkable. Fantasy stories go beyond everyday realities and may often transcend the laws of nature. They portray things that do not normally happen and worlds that do not actually exist … It is the unexplained, unembarrassed presentation of the extraordinary that separates fantasy from all other types of literature … Yet while fantasy writing depicts the extraordinary, it also celebrates much that is ordinary: trees, stones, horses, hearth-fires, bread—all somehow become solid and important in fantasy writing …
This quotation serves to introduce us to The Chronicles of Klarin. There the “extraordinary” and “remarkable” abound—dragons, other worlds, dragonettes, foxes and the like, appear across the pages. The “ordinary”, both in setting and many of the characters is alongside. And this mix is driven along by a strong, taut, and thoughtful narrative. …
Continue reading Ian Keast’s review here.
Studio magazine published three of Andrew’s poems in issue Number 148, 2020: “Little Endings” (a suite of 6 haiku), “Autumn Maples” (a suite of 2 tanka), and “Separation” (a suite of 2 tanka).
“Little Endings”, a set of 6 light-hearted haiku, will be included in a forthcoming collection of Andrew’s poems. It reads:
The spider’s mistake—
as it approached it set me
doing the quick-step!
Worse for the snail—
hearing while night-walking that
grasshopper, for hopping into
my son’s affections.
Howzat! The blowfly
scored a triple twenty on
the spider’s dartboard!
A grim irony—
aiming at a spider with
a can of fly-spray.
Feeling a bit flat—
on a clapping sound.
© Andrew Lansdown
Over 2020, Andrew had seven poems published in six issues of The Mozzie.
In Vol. 27, Issue 9, March 2020 – “Saga Chrysanthemums” (a set of 4 tanka).
In Vol. 27, Issue 10, May 2020 – “Kilter” (a set of 3 haiku).
In Vol. 28, Issue 1, June 2020 – “Sandbathing Sparrows” (a set of 2 tanka).
In Vol. 28, Issue 2, July 2020 – “The Martyred Mother”.
In Vol. 28, Issue 3, August 2020 – “Durable Impressions” (a set of 3 haiku).
In Vol. 28, Issue 3, August 2020 – “Leafy Seadragon”.
In Vol. 28, Issue 4, September 2020 – “Little Endings” (a set of 6 haiku).
The poem “Sandbathing Sparrows” (below) is a gunsaku of two tanka that were published individually in Andrew’s book, Kyoto Momiji Tanka: Poems and Photographs of Japan in Autumn. (Go here for information about Kyoto Momiji Tanka.)
By the Kamo River, Kyoto
The sparrows sprawling
on their sides, kicking their legs,
fluffing their feathers,
are miming the meaning of ‘Nice’
while sandblasting away their lice!
Washing their plumage
in a patch of river-rinsed sand,
the sparrows give them-
selves over to feelings of bliss,
as do we, to be watching this.
© Andrew Lansdown