Vale Andrew Burke (1944–2023)

This poem contains

impressed fibres of typewriter ribbon

faded grey ink

and expressions of our time.

This poem contains. Open me.

I am only as fragile

as you handle me.

Open me out. You

shall serve me – I

shall serve you well.

Open me. Open this poem.

  • From ‘Contents’, Andrew Burke

It is with sorrow that Fremantle Press marks the passing of poet and literature and creative writing lecturer Andrew Burke, author of some 13 published works of poetry including On the Tip of My Tongue and Mother Waits for Father Late (both Fremantle Arts Centre Press). Burke was recipient of the Thomas Wardle Poetry Prize and the Tom Collins Poetry Prize, and had his work anthologised in Western Australian and national collections. He received an MA and then a PhD in writing from Edith Cowan University. He read his poetry to audiences throughout Australia, China, Singapore and the UK. He lectured in Australia and, with his wife Jeanette, taught at Shanxi Normal University, Linfen, and then returned to Australia to teach children in the Kimberley. Of his penultimate collection, One Hour Seeds Another, Nathan Hondros wrote, ‘Burke’s achievement … is the fusing together so many of the best tendencies in poetry that it feels like some kind of apotheosis. The ecumenical character of Burke’s poetry is also part of the man himself.’

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