Review of Allsorts in Quadrant

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Quadrant magazine recently published a highly favourable review of Andrew’s 278 page poetry collection for children and young people, Allsorts: poetry treats and tricks (Wombat Books, 2011). Written by Hal G.P. Colebatch, it reads:

What Poetry Is Really About

Andrew Lansdown, many of whose poems have appeared in Quadrant, has here compiled a large collection of his work, mainly shorter poems. It seems primarily intended to introduce children to poetry, but can also be read by adults with pleasure and profit.

“Pleasure and profit” is, in fact, an inadequate phrase. For much of the book is more profound than that: although a lot of the work is very simple, at its best it opens windows onto the transcendent.

Since he began writing in the early 1970s and despite suffering from several disadvantages, including being a West Australian and outside the Sydney and Melbourne poetic cliques, as well as being a professing Christian—indeed a pastor—Andrew Lansdown has acquired an impressive record of poetry publications as well as a number of best-selling children’s novels in the “Dragonfox” [Chronicles of Klarin] series.

While the poems are written in a great variety of styles, a large number are about the natural world—birds are a very frequent subject—and a Japanese influence can be seen in the spare descriptiveness of the writing. …


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