Near the Border: New and selected poems
Puncher & Wattmann, $29.95 pb, 368 pp
Andrew Sant is a substantial yet somewhat elusive figure in contemporary Australian poetry. Born in London, he arrived in Melbourne with his parents at age twelve in 1962. Over the years, he has published at least eleven collections, co-founded the literary magazine Island, and been, for a time, a member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council. More recently, Sant has lived and worked in the United Kingdom, but he clearly retains links with Australia, particularly Tasmania, where he first became known as a poet.
Near the Border: New and selected poems is a generous selection from his work since 1980. At 368 pages, it feels more like a Collected. (Such books by living poets are rare these days.) This reviewer began with the book’s ten new poems and then worked his way back to the beginning.