The Tomb of the Unknown Artist

$25.00 inc GST

Product Description

These poems are unflinching in the face of death, yet filled with the delights of living, from a potato harvest to a walk beside a river. They are in tune with the complexities of the modern world—the unseen environmental impact of war, an apocalyptic vision of a flooded city, a shocking glimpse of school bullying, the heartbreaking dreams of refugees. An extended sequence, set during the Vietnam war, dramatises the confronting nature of combat and the way it comes back to haunt you, night after sleepless night. Finally, a fascination with the creativity of painters builds to the blazing farewell of an unknown artist.

The poem “Alone Again” won the Australia Poetry Journal’s 2015 Poem of the Year. The poem “Searching the Dead” won the 2019 Peter Porter Poetry Prize.


“It’s original, well-expressed and full of meaning and therefore deserving of careful reading, whether you agree with the poet’s views or not.” PATRICIA JOHNSON, Westerly Magazine

The Tomb of the Unknown Artist deals with the fundamental experiences of being human: birth, death, and the living, loving and losing we do in between. With his characteristic close attention, strong narrative structure, and full palette of protagonists and perspectives, Kissane looks at what it means to be a relational being, exploring our capacity for connection and disconnection with humans and the more-than-human world… In its entirety, The Tomb of the Unknown Artist is an enriching collection, taking readers on a journey from the womb to the tomb (quite literally) and through a range of emotional and natural landscapes. It demonstrates the kind of close attention to and delight in the natural world that is sorely needed in our present moment on earth.” SIMONE KING, Plumwood Mountain Journal

“Andy Kissane’s latest collection of poetry, The Tomb of the Unknown Artist, is a refreshing antidote for those who prefer to swim in prose’s calmer waters. Like a song or beautiful painting, Kissane’s lyrical effortlessness welcomes you in and demands little in return. The poems are packed full of imagery; the writer keenly aware of human suffering but also the small joys to be found in domestic intimacies.” BROEDE CARMODY, The Sydney Morning Herald (paywalled)