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The Open Window

The Open Window

by Andrew Johnston

Part of our Arc International Poets series

Until leaving New Zealand in 1996 for France (where he now lives), Andrew Johnston worked as a journalist in Wellington. He is the recipient of many literary grants and awards and in 1998 was a prizewinner in the Daily Telegraph / Arvon International Poetry Competition with The Singer, the final poem in this collection.

Andrew Johnston's first collection to be published in the UK contains poems from two critically acclaimed books previously published in his native New Zealand, together with a substantial body of new work. Johnston is a fine poet, assured in his use of poetic forms, yet always fresh and original in his imagery and use of language.

As fellow-countryman and poet Bill Manhire remarks in his introduction to this collection, Johnston reminds him of Italo Calvino's Mr Palomar, named after an observatory:

There is the same scrutinising of the world, and with the same result: the reflecting lens of language brings back not only news of what is out there but also an account of the consciousness of the scrupulous, attentive gazer. In that sense Johnston is a Romantic poet, a watcher of the skies and of the self.'s the world that Johnston creates out of where he's been that counts. We are, in other words, in a country of the mind and it's the quality of the writing that will determine whether or not the reader is at home in it. On the whole, I think Johnston succeeds in opening up his world to us ... there's a lot to be gained from reading this engaging book.

Jim Burns, Ambit 159 2000

102 pages
ISBN 1-900072-22-X
Published January 1999

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