Shane McCauley launches Andrew’s book

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Eminent Western Australian poet and critic, Shane McCauley, launched Andrew’s latest collection of poetry, Birds in Mind: Australian Nature Poems, on Saturday 24 October 2009. Speaking to a gathering of about seventy people, Shane McCauley said:


I was very touched, and of course honoured, when Andrew Lansdown asked me to launch his wonderful collection of poems, Birds in Mind: Australian Nature Poems. Ours has been a long acquaintance and friendship, going back to the mid-1970s or so. For a while, we were always the youngest WA poets to appear in anthologies such as Quarry, edited by Fay Zwicky in 1981. And I note that several of our near contemporaries in that anthology have gone on to either better or worse things, but Andrew and I have somehow managed to stay in the poetry-writing business.

Initially, there are several things to note about Birds in Mind. Firstly, the sheer size and scope of the subject matter. The joy in birds is apparent from the title, but they are only some of the creatures and plants the poet celebrates and sometimes mourns. You will also find superbly spare descriptions of, and reactions to, shells, frogs, lizards, kangaroos, crabs, fish, sunflowers, bamboo, orchids, trees in abundance—karri, jarrah, marri, redgum—and much, much more.

Another initial observation concerns the variety of places in which these poems have been published—they have obviously appealed to many different editors, and the Acknowledgements page is really mind-boggling. Apart from appearing in countless Australian journals and anthologies, many have been published overseas, in Japan, the USA, the UK.

A third observation is in regard to the quality of the book’s production itself and the generous 223 pages—no “slim” volume of verse this! … CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ADDRESS

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