Andrew Lansdown is the author of twenty-one books and eight chapbooks of poetry and fiction. His poems, stories and essays have been published in over seventy magazines and newspapers and are represented in over one hundred anthologies. They have also been read on ABC and BBC radio, and translated into several languages.
Andrew’s literary works are:
- Homecoming – Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1979 (poems, 30 pp) – ISBN: 0-909144-22-2
- A Ball of Gold – Artlook Press, 1980 (poems for children, 79 pp) – ISBN: 0-865445-000-1
- Counterpoise – Angus & Robertson, 1982 (poems, 73 pp) – ISBN: 0-207-14664-0
- Windfalls – Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1984 (poems, 74 pp) – ISBN: 0-909144-85-0
- The Bowgada Birds – Shire of Kalamunda, 1986 (stories, 66 pp) – ISBN: 0-9595831-1-4
- Waking and Always – Angus & Robertson, 1987 (poems, 82 pp) – ISBN: 0-207-15530-5. New edition/reprint by Picaro Press, 2007 – ISBN: 978-1-920957-66-7
- The Grasshopper Heart – Collins/Angus & Robertson, 1991 (poems, 76 pp) – ISBN: 0-207-17027-4
- With My Knife – Omnibus Books, 1992; reprinted 1992, 1994 and 1996. – New edition/ reprint by Omnibus Books/Scholastic Australia, 2006; reprinted 2006, 2007 and 2008 (novel, 138 pp) – ISBN-13: 978-1-86291-674-6; ISBN-10: 1-86291-674-8
- Beyond the Open Door – Scholastic, USA, 1993 (novel – USA edition of With My Knife) – ISBN: 0-590-47160-0
- Between Glances – William Heinemann Australia, 1993 (poems, 81 pp) – ISBN: 0-85561-517-6
- Abiding Things – Studio, 1996 (poems, stories & essays, 88 pp)
- Dragonfox – Scholastic Australia, 1997. – New edition/reprint by Omnibus Books/Scholastic Australia, 2006; reprinted 2007 and 2009 (novel, 149 pp) – ISBN-13: 978-1-86291-675-3; ISBN-10: 1-86291-675-6
- Fontanelle – Five Islands Press, 2004 (poems, 112 pp) – ISBN: 1-74128-074-5
- The Dispossessed – Interactive Publications, 2005 (stories, 179 pp) – ISBN: 1-876819-30-8
- The Red Dragon – Omnibus Books/Scholastic Australia, 2006; reprinted 2007 and 2009 (novel, 179 pp) – ISBN: 1-86291-676-4
- Birds in Mind: Australian Nature Poems – Wombat Books, 2009 (poems, 224 pp) – ISBN: 978-1-921633-04-1
- Far from Home: Poems of faith, grief and gladness – Even Before Publishing/Wombat Books, 2010 (poems, 224 pp) – ISBN: 978-1-921633-14-0
- Allsort: poetry tricks and treats – Wombat Books, 2011 (poems for young people, 278 pp) – ISBN: 9781921633232
- The Colour of Life in Two Poets (with Kevin Gillam) – Fremantle Press, 2011 (poems, 228 pp) – ISBN: 9781921696602
- Gestures of Love: The Fatherhood Poems – Even Before Publishing/Wombat Books, 2013 (poems, 150 pp) – ISBN: 9781922074706
- Inadvertent Things: poems in traditional Japanese forms – Walleah Press, 2013 (poems, 175 pp) – ISBN: 9781877010262
- Kyoto Sakura Tanka – Rhiza Press, 2016 (poems and photographs, 144 pp) – ISBN: 9781925139419
Andrew has also published six poetry chapbooks:
- The Weight of the Baby – Hovea Press, 1997 (8 pp)
- Opulence: poems on parenting – Life Ministries, 2002 (16 pp)
- Communion – Picaro Press, 2003 (16 pp) – ISBN: 1444-8424
- Warrior Monk – Picaro Press, 2005 (24 pp) – ISNB: 1-920957-15-4
- Little Matters: a gathering of 89 haiku & senryu – Picaro Press, 2009 (28 pp) – ISBN: 978-1-920957-85-8
- Consolations: 48 tanka – Picaro Press, 2009 (28 pp) – ISBN: 978-1-920957-84-1
- Of Petals and Immortals – Life Ministries, 2014 (28 pp)
- The God of the Glimpses – Life Ministries, 2015 (32 pp)
- Triggerplants and other Triggerpoems – Life Ministries, 2016 (32 pp)
- Therefore, the Dreaming (Life Ministries, 2017 (32 pp)
Andrew’s fantasy novel, With My Knife (Omnibus Books, 1992) was shortlisted in 1994 for both the National Children’s Book Award and the Western Australian Young Readers’ Book Award. The first edition of With My Knife was reprinted three times in Australia (1992, 1994, 1996) and was published by Scholastic in the United States under the title Beyond The Open Door (1993). A sequel, titled Dragonfox, was published by Scholastic in Sydney in 1997. It was also nominated for the Western Australian Young Readers’ Book Awards.
New editions of With My Knife and Dragonfox were published in 2006, along with a third novel in the series, The Red Dragon. The new edition of With My Knife was reprinted in 2006, 2007 and 2008, while Dragonfox and The Red Dragon were also reprinted in 2007 and 2009.
The Children’s Book Council of Australia named The Red Dragon as “Notable Australian Children’s Book” in 2007. The Red Dragon was also nominated for the Western Australian Young Readers’ Book Awards (WAYBRA) and won the Hoffman Award, which is given to the highest ranked Australian/Western Australian book on the WAYRBA young readers’ list.
Andrew’s sixth poetry collection, Between Glances (William Heinemann Australia, 1993), won the Adelaide Arts Festival’s prestigious John Bray National Poetry Award in 1994. It was also joint winner of the WA Fellowship of Australian Writer’s inaugural Joseph Furphy Award for poetry.
Andrew also won the inaugural Western Australian Premier’s Book Award (originally called the Western Australian Week Literary Award) for his poem “For Philip” in 1982, which earlier won the Artlook Grand National Poetry Stakes and appeared in Artlook Magazine. “For Philip” is published in Counterpoise.
Andrew again won the WA Premier’s Book Award in 1985 for his poetry collection, Windfalls. His collection, Fontanelle, was shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Award in 2005.
In acknowledgement of Andrew’s poetic achievements the City of South Perth included one of his poems in its Poetry Park, established in 2008 in the Neil McDougal Park, Como. The poem, “Happiness” (from Between Glances), is printed on a two-metre free-standing Perspex panel, the first of twelve panels that line the park’s Walk of Honour for Western Australian poets.
Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts in English (Western Australian Institute of Technology – now Curtin University), a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Comparative Literature (Murdoch University), and a Graduate Diploma in Education (Western Australian College of Advanced Education – now Edith Cowan University).
Among other things, Andrew has worked as a tutor at various tertiary institutions and TAFE colleges, an education officer in various Western Australian prisons, a pastor of two churches, a journalist on a country newspaper and the editor of a bimonthly magazine.
He has been awarded six writer’s grants/fellowships by the Literature Board of the Australia Council: General Writing Grant, 1984; Writer’s Assistance Grant, 1986; Senior Writer’s Fellowship, 1987; a Senior Writer’s Fellowship, 1988; an Established Writer’s Grant, 2002; and an Established Writer’s Grant, 2003.
Andrew has been invited to read at various poetry festivals, including the Tasmanian Poetry Festival (Launceston, Tas, 1994), the Blue Mountains Poetry Festival (Varuna, NSW, 1996), the Australian Poetry Festival (Sydney, NSW, 1998) and the Australian Poetry Centre’s Salt on the Tongue Poetry Festival (Goolwa, SA, 2010). He has also participated in several writers’ tours, and conducted readings and creative writing workshops at numerous primary and high schools throughout Western Australia.
Andrew lives in Perth, Western Australia. He is married to Susan and they have five adult children.
He can be contacted at email@example.com
The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-century Poetry in English
Edited by Ian Hamilton
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (1994), 624 pp
LANSDOWN, Andrew (1954— ), was born in Pingelly, a small town south-east of Perth in Western Australia. He gained arts degrees from both the Western Australian Institute of Technology and the Murdoch University before becoming for a time a tutor in creative writing at the former institution, which later was renamed the Curtin University. Since then he has worked as an education officer in various prisons in Western Australia, a grim occupation which has done surprisingly little to affect his work.
Few Australian poets have been so prolific and consistent. At 37 he has already published six collections of verse, with a seventh ready for publication. From his first book Homecoming (Fremantle, 1979) he has adopted a Christian stance and, perhaps as a result, his work has been neglected and undervalued. A collection of poems for children, A Ball of Gold, was followed by Counterpoise (Sydney, 1982), Windfalls (Fremantle, 1984), Waking and Always (1987), The Grasshopper Heart (1991), and Horse with Lipstick (1992—all Sydney). Lansdown is a miniaturist, a poet attentive to the smallest details of nature, and to subtle domestic emotions. The effect of his work is cumulative, so that his poems can seem slight when considered separately; their style is precise and direct, and never ostentatious. Unusually for a poet of the late twentieth century, the mood in his poems is generally one of contentment or joy, causing fashion conscious readers to overlook his consistent technical excellence.
Comment by Geoffrey Lehmann
If I were to prepare an alphabetical list of Australian poets who are outstanding and whose first books have been published since 1980, my list would be ridiculously long. It would have to include Judith Beveridge, Kevin Brophy, Elizabeth Campbell, Caroline Caddy, Jennifer Compton, Tricia Dearborn, Stephen Edgar, Peter Goldsworthy, Philip Hodgins, Carol Jenkins, Andrew Lansdown, Anthony Lawrence, Bronwyn Lea, Emma Lew, Stephen McInerney, Homer Reith, Gig Ryan, Philip Salom, Andrew Sant, Shen, Craig Sherborne and Alex Skovron. Some of these poets are very different from each other and might look askance at their bedfellows. But all have written memorable and exciting poems. (emphasis added)
Excerpt from “New poets mine rich seam of language” by Geoffrey Lehmann in The Australian, 21 February 2009.
Poems Dedicated to Andrew
Over the years, various poets have paid tribute to Andrew and his work by dedicating poems to him. Among them are the eminent Australian poets Les Murray, Shane McCauley and Peter Kocan.
1. The Universtity of Western Australia (Scholars’ Centre) has archived drafts and papers of Andrew’s work. View the “Scholars’ Centre Guide to the Papers of Andrew Lansdown – Scholars’ Centre, University of Western Australia Library – Reference number: MS 108”
2a. The University of New South Wales (Australian Defence Force Academy Library) has also archived drafts and papers of Andrew’s work. View the “Guide to the Papers of Andrew Lansdown – Australian Defence Force Academy Library – Reference number: MS 74”
3. AusLit, the Australian Literature Resource, which documents the literary works of Australain writers since 1780, has itemised 788 of Andrew’s published works. View the introductory page to AusLit’s “Lansdown, Andrew” bibliography.
4. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has produced a 40 minute program on the poems of Fontanelle. It is titled “I Could Teach Bamboo About Emptiness – The Poetry of Andrew Lansdown” and was Broadcast Saturday 4th June 2005 on Radio National as one of the weekly Poetica series.
6. The Quadrant magazine website has archived many of Andrew’s poems published in the print magazine since 1998.