Andrew Johnston

Fits and Starts


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10 March 2016

Winner of the Ockham Poetry Award 2017

fit noun1. Also fytte. A section of a poem or song; a canto. obsolete exc. hist. OE.

start noun2. A sudden burst of energy or activity; an outburst of emotion, madness, etc.; a flight of humour. Also, a sudden broken utterance or sound. Now rare or obsolete. l16. (Shorter Oxford English Dictionary)

Andrew Johnston’s mesmerising new collection weaves together fragments of dream, myth, memory and experience. With humour and melancholy, these poems draw upon the random treasures of the radio alphabet and the ancient contradictions of the Old Testament. At their centre, the mythical figure of Echo roams through an imaginary landscape. Hope, love, health and voice disappear and reappear, rescued by faith in poetry’s power to invent its own kind of sense.

There was so much meaning in her life.
She didn't know what any of it meant.

Andrew Johnston is the author of Sol (2007), Birds of Europe (2000), The Open Window (1999), The Sounds (1996) and How to Talk (1993), which won the 1994 New Zealand Book Award for Poetry. Since 1997 he has lived in France. After 25 years as a journalist, he is now an editor and consultant for the United Nations and non-government groups.

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