ANDREW LANSDOWN

AUTHOR & POET

Poetry
Poetry

Andrew’s poetry works.

Fiction
Fiction

Andrew’s works of fiction.

Children's Writings
Children's Writings

Andrew’s childrens writings.

Andrew’s latest posts

Poem in The Canberra Times

The Canberra Times published Andrew’s poem, “Sketches of Life”,  in its Saturday Panorama arts section on 24 February 2018. “Sketches of Life” is a set of six haiku. The first and sixth haiku of the set are posted below:

Sketches of Life

.         i
The scent of onions—
from the kitchen the sound of
a knife tap-dancing.

.         vi
A shrugging gesture—
the child making it uses
even her eyebrows.

© Andrew Lansdown

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MacMillan Makes Good

As mentioned in a previous post, Andrew recently learnt that one of his poems, “Mr James”, was published without his knowledge in a text book by MacMillan Education Australia 14.

Andrew approached MacMillan last week and the publishing house responded with an apology for the oversight and an offer of a $400 payment. Needless to say, Andrew happily accepted both.

 

The full publication details of the book in which “Mr James” appears are:

Simply Poetry: A student workbook

eds Rex Sadler & Sandra Sadler
MacMillan Education Australia Pty Ltd (South Yarra)
First published, 2004. Reprinted 2005 (twice), 2006, 2007 (twice)
ISBN: 9780732997755

The poem “Mr James” was first collected in Andrew’s book, Counterpoise (Angus & Robertson, 1980) and is reproduced here:

Mr James

When I was a boy
and needed birds, Mr James
built a cage for me
from large pine-wood cable-reels.

And at church on Sundays
he stood at the door,
crushed my knuckles
in the vice of his hand,

handed me a hymn book
from his brick-like stack
and banged me with the hammer
of his voice.

Of all the kind people
I have known in my life
this man is set apart,
having raised a cathedral in my heart.

© Andrew Lansdown

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Back in business for book orders

Andrew’s books have been unavailable through this website for some weeks because PayPal was disconnected while changes were made to the website.

PayPal is now reconnected and books can once again be purchased using PayPal or Credit Cards (Mastercard, Visa, etc).

Go to Buy Books to make your purchase.

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Unauthorised publication of Andrew’s work (1)

From time to time Andrew discovers that his work has been published without his knowledge — and therefore, obviously, without permission and without appropriate payment.

Andrew has only just learned that his poem “Mr James” was published in a text book by MacMillan Education Australia 14 years ago.

More often than not, such unauthorised publications occur because the publisher has been unable (despite reasonable efforts) to contact the author. Presumably, that is the case here and the publisher will (when approached) pay Andrew back royalties.

The full publication details of the book in which “Mr James” appears are:

Simply Poetry: A student workbook
eds Rex Sadler & Sandra Sadler
MacMillan Education Australia Pty Ltd (South Yarra)
First published, 2004. Reprinted 2005 (twice), 2006, 2007 (twice)
ISBN: 9780732997755

(Further details about this book can be found at Google Books, here, and at MacMillan Education, here.)

While Andrew is always delighted when editors and publishing houses want to showcase his work, he nonetheless would like a heads-up first.

“Mr James” has been published in two other anthologies and was first collected in Andrew’s book, Counterpoise.

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In Poems
Posted

Allsorts in Singapore Libraries

Copies of Andrew’s book Allsorts, a collections of poems for children illustrated by Susan Lansdown, are held in nine libraries in Singapore.

(Learn more about Allsorts on this website here.)

The National Library Board of Singapore reports (here) that Allsorts: Poetry Tricks and Treats is available in and from the following libraries:

Library Location Call Number Status/Desc
Ang Mo Kio Public Library
Adult Lending
English
821.408 LAN
Available
Bukit Merah Public Library
Adult Lending
English
821.408 LAN
Available
Central Public Library
Adult Lending
English
821.408 LAN
Available
Geylang East Public Library
Adult Lending
English
821.408 LAN
Available
Jurong Regional Library
Adult Lending
English
821.408 LAN
Available
Jurong West Public Library
Adult Lending
English
821.408 LAN
Available
Marine Parade Public Library
Adult Lending
English
821.408 LAN
Available
Tampines Regional Library
Adults
General Non-Fiction
Level 5 Shelf 56 [View Map]
English
821.408 LAN
Available
Woodlands Regional Library
Adult Lending
English
821.408 LAN
Available

Allsorts: Poetry Tricks and Treats can be purchased through this website here for $25.95 (free post).

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New addition to this website

James McAuley‘s poem “Retreat” has been added to the page on this website dedicated to his poetry. Also reproduced below in this post, “Retreat” is a moving and insightful poem. Read more of this great Australian poet’s work on Andrew’s website here.

Retreat

Come unto yourself a while,
Be deaf to outer cares;
Ask not who wins, who falls, who rages,
Or what each doubtful sign presages,
Or what face treachery wears.

Soon you must return to tasks
That sicken and appal:
The calumnies will never cease,
Look only to the sign of peace,
The Cross upon the wall.

This is that sole instrument
That measures every chart;
This square and level overrules
The subtle calculus of fools
By a celestial Art.

It is not said we shall succeed,
Save as His Cross prevails:
The good we choose and mean to do
Prospers if He wills it to,
And if not, then it fails.

Nor is failure our disgrace:
By ways we cannot know
He keeps the merit in his hand,
And suddenly, as no-one planned,
Behold the kingdom grow!

      James McAuley

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Poem in Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology

Andrew’s poem “Kyoto Maple Conceits” has been included in The Crows In Town: Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology 2017, eds Kevin Brophy & Eileen Chong (Hunter Writers Centre & The University of Newcastle, 2017). “Kyoto Maple Conceits” is a suite of 8 tanka. The first two “conceits” in the suite are:

i
Pretending menace
while riding the current down
the disused canal—
a fleet of little fireboats
set adrift by the maples.

ii
With pinking scissors
and crimson dye, maples make
pretty autumn kites—
but they are mostly flightless,
being bobtailed and stringless.

          © Andrew Lansdown

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4 poems in Quadrant

Four of Andrew’s poems were published in the November 2017 issue of Quadrant: from Vegetal Variations” , “Kyoto Autumn Maples” , “Prattle” , and “The Succour Trees” .

Kyoto Autumn Maples” is a set of six tanka that won the $1,500 2016 Melbourne Poets Union International Poetry Prize.

The Succour Trees” is reprinted below:

The Succour Trees

In Gethsemane
olives were the only ones
(excluding angels)
who stood by the Son of God
as he wept and sweated blood.

          © Andrew Lansdown

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Poem in The Mozzie

The April-May 2017 issue of The Mozzie (Vol. 25, No. 3) contains one of Andrew’s poems—a tanka titled “Fall” , reprinted below:

Fall

Little maple,
I’ve seen pictures of a girl
a German Jew,
who was, like you, skeletal—
and she wore a small star too.


          © Andrew Lansdown

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Poem in Quadrant

One of Andrew’s poems was published in the June 2017 issue of Quadrant. The poem, a suite of five haiku, is titled “Bird Haiku“. The first and last haiku in the sequence are:

Bird Haiku

i
The overhead wire—
a pair of welcome swallows
singing in the sag.

v
Such a lovely note—
how could I not look up to
find the pardalote?

 


© Andrew Lansdown

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Poem in Quadrant

One of Andrew’s poems was published in the April 2017 issue of Quadrant. The poem, a tanka, is titled “Gossiper” and is reprinted below:

Gossiper

As a brass clapper
in a windbell, so a tongue
in a gossip’s mouth.
Any wind will make it swing
to strike out its single note.


            © Andrew Lansdown

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2 poems in anthology, Contemporary Australian Poetry

Two of Andrew’s poems have been included in the Puncher & Wattmann anthology, Contemporary Australian Poetry, edited by Martin Langford, Judith Beveridge, Judy Johnson and David Musgrave.

Andrew’s poems in the anthology are “His Free Hand” and “Meditations on Pain“, selected from his books Fontanelle (Five Islands Press, 2004) and Inadvertent Things (Walleah Press, 2013).

According to the publisher’s website:

“In the past 25 years, Australian poetry has reached a remarkable level of  achievement. Never has the quality been stronger, nor the number of distinctive voices greater. The best poetry produced in this country is world-class.

“Australian poetry has become both self-sustaining – a major source of inspiration and dialogue for Australian practitioners – and also a vital part of the larger conversation in the English speaking world. Puncher & Wattmann has now published Contemporary Australian Poetry, bringing together this extraordinary accomplishment.

“The four editors are poets of longstanding achievement. As editors they have had extensive exposure to the variety and scope of Australian poetry over many years. Martin Langford is an anthologist, essayist and poetry reviewer for Meanjin. Judith Beveridge has edited numerous anthologies and was poetry editor at Meanjin 2005- 2015. Judy Johnson was Managing Editor for the Wagtail series of chapbooks 2000-2011 and David Musgrave has been publisher and editor of Puncher and Wattmann since he founded P&W in 2005.

“What was the criterion for considering work for the anthology? Firstly, that the poet should have published at least one book during the period under investigation. For a decade, the editors researched and read exhaustively: collections, chapbooks, anthologies, journals. There was no unqualified acceptance of particular opinions or preferences. The editors read every poem brought to the table for consideration. Each poem included in the anthology has been approved by at least three out of four editors. Nevertheless any selection, as the forward states … ‘can only be made through the unstable lenses of competing poetics and claims.’ Contemporary Australian Poetry is not intended to be an end in itself, but a starting point for the competing opinions which might emerge.

“The most rewarding result of the editors’ reading was the growing estimation of how many quality poets are practising in this country. They came to the conclusion that thirty or more poets are capable of producing not only a single stunning poem, but of sustaining a high level of accomplishment over many years. These poets have the capacity to control every nuance of tone and meaning in their work and to finely calibrate implication against the complexities of context.

“One of the purposes of Contemporary Australian Poetry is to provoke any public narrative which dismisses such a remarkable number of fine poets and leaves the genre itself in a small, airless cupboard under the stairs of our literary culture. While no one was looking, our poetry has become too large for the space set aside for it, too important to be quiet, and too insistent to be ignored. It has evolved into one of our country’s greatest cultural achievements. But this too is merely a claim. Perhaps it is better for the reader to pick up a copy of Contemporary Australian Poetry and draw their own conclusions.”

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Poem in Quadrant

The March 2017 issue of Quadrant contains one of Andrew’s poems. Titled, “Dearly Departed“, it is reprinted below:

Dearly Departed

So much of it, my childhood,
departed this world with you.

Though I lived it, I can bring back
only brief moments of it:

candle-smoke and a blue trike,
a Band-Aid on a skinned knee,

your bosomy hugs during
nights of dread dreams about … what?

Mother, I meant to ask you
so many things about me,

so many whens, hows and whys
that can never now be known.

The loss of both your presence
and my history presses on me

as an ever-present absence.


            © Andrew Lansdown

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2 poems in Weekend Australian Review

The  Review magazine, published by and distributed with the Weekend Australian newspaper, published two of Andrew’s poems last weekend, 25-26 March 2017. Both poems, “Kilter” and “Untrousered Tanuki” , are gunsaku, sets of haiku linked by common subjects/themes.

Untrousered Tanuki” is a set of humorous haiku about the ceramic racoon-dogs called tanuki (pictured below) that abound in gardens and doorways in the Kansai region of Japan. Andrew has seen (and photographed!) hundreds of these scoundrels in Kyoto and Nara during several visits there with his wife, Susan.

 

                                                                                                                 Photograph (above): Tanuki in Arashiyama © Andrew Lansdown

Untrousered Tanuki

Concerning the ceramic racoon dogs of Kyoto

i
Hey, tanuki,
did you model your bulges
on a sumo’s?

ii
Your bamboo hat’s
tremendous, tanuki, but
where are your daks?

iii
‘Have some decorum,’
a sumo tells a tanuki—
‘cover your scrotum!’

iv
The expression
‘privates’, tanuki, is common
for good reason.

v
Even a flasher,
tanuki, doesn’t expose
himself forever!

vi
Tanuki anthem—
Joe Cocker’s jaunty song, ‘You
can leave your hat on.’


© Andrew Lansdown

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