Guide to the Papers of Andrew Sant [MSS 031]

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Manuscript Name Papers of Andrew Sant
Manuscript Number MSS 031
Last Updated August 2021
Extent 7 boxes + 2 oversize + 1 AV box
Location Special Collections, UNSW Canberra
Abstract Notebooks, literary drafts and correspondence

Collection Subject Type


Scope and Content

This collection relates to Andrew Sant and includes items donated by Andrew Sant.

Date Range of Content


Biographical Note

Andrew Sant was born in London in 1950, moving to Australia with his parents in 1962. After completing a BA degree at La Trobe University in Melbourne, he worked in various jobs including teaching and copywriting. He moved to Hobart in the late 1970s. In 1979 he founded with Michael Denholm the literary magazine Island. He was co-editor until 1990. He has spent time as writer in residence overseas in various locations including the University of Peking, Leicester University, the University of Chichester and the University of London.

His first collection of poems was published in 1980. In 1989 he became a member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council.


Author record, Andrew Sant, Australian Poetry Library ( [Retrieved 22/11//2018].


Administrative Information

Access and Copying Conditions

Access: Open Access

This collection contains a variety of copyright material. Copyright is held by the creator of each item. Specific conditions for this collection are listed below. If no conditions are stipulated then the standard terms of the Copyright Act apply for published and unpublished items. Digitised material from manuscript collections is provided to clients by UNSW Canberra in good faith for private study and research only, and may not be published or re-purposed without the express and written permission of the individual legal holder of that copyright. Refer also to the UNSW copyright, disclaimer and takedown policy. 

Copying: Copying of material authored by Andrew Sant for private study and research is approved. 

Preferred Citation

Papers of Andrew Sant, Special Collections, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, MSS 031, Box [Number], Folder [Number].


The collection was donated by Andrew Sant in several instalments in 1987, 1990, 1993, 1997 and 2017.

Related Material

Special Collections holds a collection of material related to the literary magazine Island. Collection reference: Island Magazine, MSS 026.


Subject Keywords


Poetry ; Australia

Personal Names

Sant, Andrew 1950;


Poet, essayist.


Container List

Box 1

Notebooks and drafts

Folder 1

Three notebooks: 1977; 1978, 1979, 1981.

Folder 2

Three notebooks: 1979; 1980, 1980, 1981; 1982.

Folder 3

Two notebooks:1983.

Folder 4

Rejects 1978; Useful spares 1977.

First drafts of some published poems 1978.

Folder 5

Two notebooks: 1984, 1986

Folder 6

Two notebooks 1982.


Box 2

Manuscripts and correspondence

Folder 7


Folder 8

Manuscripts The Flower Industry and The Caught Sky

Folder 9

Correspondence received.

Folder 10

Correspondence received.

Folder 11

Paste ups The Caught Sky


Box 3

Manuscripts, notebook, drafts

Folder 12

Manuscripts: Brushing the Dark and ‘Preserves’

Folder 13

Poetry: notebook; handwritten and typewritten drafts

Folder 14

Manuscript Brushing the Dark; worksheets, handwritten and typewritten.

Folder 15

Publicity (personality) material: Peter Goldsworthy; Brian Matthews; Marion Halligan; David Foster; Robert Drewe; Kate Jennings; Elizabeth Jolley; Gillian Rubinstein; Fay Zwicky; John Forbes; James McQueen; Gwen Harwood.

‘Marigold and Marion’; Marion Halligan: manuscript.

Folder 16

Manuscript ‘Stocking the Cavern’ by Fay Zwicky.

Manuscript ‘Which Way Haberdashery’ by Kate Jennings.

Manuscript ‘Luke Spinoza the Philosopher’ by David Foster.

Folder 17

Manuscript ‘Work .... !!!’ by John Forbes.

Manuscript ‘Gainful Employment’ by Gwen Harwood.

Manuscript ‘A Body of Work’ by James McQueen.

Manuscript ‘Ask not for Whom the Bleeper Bleeps’ by Peter Goldsworthy.

Manuscript (two copies), ‘Scoops’ by Robert Drewe: draft and revised version.

Folder 18

Manuscript ‘The Passion and the Prose’ by Elizabeth Jolley.

Manuscript ‘Mediline and Literature’ by Peter Goldsworthy

‘Eating the Apple’ by Gillian Rubinstein.

‘Pioneering’ by Brian Matthews.

Folder 19

Toads edited by Andrew Sant: correspondence, notes, cover page etc


Box 4

Correspondence and notebooks

Folder 20


Letters and postcards received July 1985; August 1996, some undated, with attachments:

Jessica Anderson: letters, postcard, 1987 and undated

Judy Beveridge: letter, 1987

Peter Craven: letter, 1991

Helen Daniel: letter, 1988

Adrienne Eberhardt:  letter 1996

Stephen Edgar: letters 1988; 1996 together with draft manuscript “Rhyme, Rhythm and Line:

Some Notes on Form in Poetry”;

Beverley Farmer – letter 1995

Sandra Forbes (Australia Council for the Arts): letters, 1991

8/11/91 with accompanying copies of letter from Brian Matthews regarding funding of Scripsi (7/11/91),

6/11/1991 Statement regarding Scripsi Application for 1992 Funding

7/11/1991 letter from Brian Matthews to Peter Craven, Editor of Scripsi

Copy of a letter to the Editor of the Melbourne Times in response to a published interview with Peter Craven regarding funding and Scripsi (4/11/1991)

Jamie Grant: letters, 1991;1995

Robert Gray: letters, 1988?;1996 and undated

Gwen Harwood: letter together withmanuscript “The richness of the commonplace”, 1992

Rod Jones: letter, 1987

Chris Koch: letter, 1985

Anthony Laurence: letter undated

Julie Lewis: letters, 1991

Les Murray: postcard, 1986

Jan Owen: letters and postcards,1985;1995

Peter Porter: aerograms, 1991

Cassandra Pybus: letter, 1993

Vicki Raymond: letter,1986 together withdraft manuscripts of Vicki Raymond’s poems

Intermissa, Venus, A sense of occasion, Ruby glass, and Rat year

Margaret Scott: 2 postcardsundated, postmarked 1992;1996?

Edith Speers: letter 1994

Folder 21

Letters received

            Letters received from Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1978;1987

            Letters received by Andrew Sant, 1981;1996 as follows:

            Invitations to submit poetry 1981 to 1996

            Responses to poetry submitted by Andrew Sant for publication 1981;1996, and undated

            Invitations to review books, journals, assess manuscript submissions 1985;1993

            Requests for permission to publish or use already published poems 1987;1995

            Invitations to and thanks for participation in writing/poetry festivals; attend, speak or judge at poetry events; FAW; Australia Council Literature Board membership 1987;1989

Folder 22

Letters and postcards received from Sarah Day c1981–c1991

Folder 23

Responses to questionnaire sent by Andrew Sant to poets requesting information about poems they submitted to Effects of Light: the Poetry of Tasmania (1985), edited by Vivian Smith and Margaret Scott; nine responses dated 1983;84, some undated.

From: Jamie Grant, Roger McDonald, Philip Mead, JR Rowland, Vicki Raymond, Alan Alexander, Rod Moran, Barbara Giles, and John Griffin 

Folder 24


            One notebook – [1988?]

            Comprised mainly of undated, edited poems handwritten in the notebook, and typed drafts inserted loosely. Handwritten poems in body of journal not listed.

            Typed draft poems inserts only, with title variations: Afterwards/Lunch – The consequence – The doorknob in Berea Street – The envoy – Epistle to the owner – Excursion to Waiotapu – A guide to the volcano – Living with the sea – Memorial – Respecting the Americans – Small businessmen/Settling accounts – Travellers/The status quo – fragments of poems, untitled

            Also contains draft correspondence; draft reviews; notes on a ‘Reading at Knopwoods with Morris Lurie and Tim Thorne’ (undated); draft reviews of The Gardens of Hell, ed by Peter O’Shaughnessy (insert)

Folder 25

One notebook; undated, [1989?]

Comprised mainly of undated, edited poems handwritten in the notebook, and typed drafts of poems inserted loosely. Handwritten poems in body of journal not listed.

Typed draft poems inserts only, with title variations:

Adolescents; Amongst the geysers; Carnival ; At Rickett’s Point/Shallows ; Away with the birds; Ballad of a one night stand ; Bluey ; Decorum/Arrival ; The doorknob in Berea Street ; Encounter ; Exposures ; Feeding the fur ;First taste ; Funereal ballad/Ballad/Live people strike (also version titled Sapper’s Broadside in notebook 1990;91) ; Home improvements ; Horizon bay ; Meetings (from Sea Lives); The mineral boom ; Netting ; New business; The promise ;Report of a badger; Respecting the Americans ; Revenant ; Revisiting football ; Rite of passage ; Sea lives (see also Meetings); The status quo ; Shifting furniture ; Suited ; The teacher; Transportation; Visitants ; With the Beatles ; Writer and implement/Paean for pencils/In praise of the pencil; fragments, untitled

Also contains letter from SMH with handwritten addendum by Geoffrey Dutton 23/03/1989; draft correspondence; handwritten notes on “Antarctica” (ABS radio play written by Andrew Sant); Brushing the Dark; and other miscellaneous writings

Folder 26

One notebook; 1989

Comprised mainly of handwritten edited draft manuscripts of poems (undated).

Also contains draft correspondence (one dated 16/12/1989); poetry notes; draft reviews; draft outline of children’s’ story; draft short story; miscellaneous writings

One notebook; 1990;1991

Comprised mainly of undated, edited draft poems handwritten in the notebook, also typed draft inserted loosely. Handwritten poems in body of journal not listed.

Loose leaf and typed draft poems inserts only, with title variations:

Coastal; Composure; Fire! Fire!; The flower meadow; For a birthday; Incendiary incident; Late summer passages; A night walk in the New Age; On seeing the removal of a meadow; Playground; Sapper’s broadside (also titled Funereal ballad/Ballad/Live people strike in notebook 1/1989); Seasonal; The singer in the band; Wish for my daughters.

Also contains draft book reviews; draft essay on subject of author Olga Masters; misc. writings


Box 5

Notebooks, literary drafts, miscellaneous papers and photograph.

Folder 27

One notebook; 1991

Comprised mainly of undated, edited draft poems handwritten in the notebook, also typed drafts inserted loosely. Handwritten poems in body of journal not listed.

Loose-leaf and typed draft poems inserted (some worked on both sides of sheet), title variations:

The conceit of glass; Days of incompletion; Echoes; Eclipse; Encounter; Etiquette; For Keith Floyd; For a returnee; Heat/Tame; Homage/Homage to the Cooks; In Bridle Lane; Locale; The males; Matter and the housekeeper; Night; A night walk in the New Age; On seeing the departure of a meadow; A personal library/Someone else’s books/In a library; The promise; The recipe book/Recipes; Remembering the chrysanthemums; Speed; Stepping stones; Tactic;  Vocal/The talkers; Willows

Also contains draft correspondence; draft reviews; notes on stay in Australia Council owned studio in Venice, Italy; outline of poem idea in pencil on poetry launch invitation; other miscellaneous writings

Folder 28

One notebook – Undated (estimate mid 1980; early 1990s)

Handwritten note on front cover: ‘writing from experience, observation skills drafting, responses from others (indecipherable)’

Comprised mainly of undated, edited poems handwritten in the notebook, and typed drafts inserted loosely. Handwritten poems in body of journal not listed:

Typed poems inserted with title variations: Billabong; Black and white snaps; Bounty; Candlestick story/Candlestick/Candle holder; Curtains; Death and the householder; DIY; Erotica; A future reader/Absent third party; In concert; LPs; Mussolini’s umbrella; One life; Pets/The pet perspective; Plenty; Post;haste ;The prodigal names; Pumice; Elegy for the Queen’s head/The Queen’s head; Sahib; Sammy and his Mum.

Also contains handwritten draft correspondence from donor to Jamie Grant (notebook); Uni of Tasmania sheet advertising lecture in which donor takes part with handwritten notes on reverse (insert); handwritten list (insert).

Folder 29

Literary drafts; Poetry              

            Lives: Edited manuscript; accompanying letter from Angus and Robertson Publishers 9/2/88

            Brushing the Dark: galley proof corrected by author; edited draft copy; Author’s questionnaire; Readers Report of Brushing the Dark by Philip Hodgins (undated); letters from Heinemann Publishers Australia 10/12/87;30/5/1989

            The Flower Industry: proof copy (6/12/84), edited by author

Folder 30

The Album of Domestic Exiles; draft manuscript of poetry

Folder 31

Folder of poetry, all typed, undated edited drafts, some multiple drafts, title variations:

Adolescents; Amongst the Geysers; An Australian visits a Future Century; Backgrounds; Blotter;The building; Couples (see also Encounter) ; Days of the Novelist; Dentalia; Encounter; Denouement; A Family Tree; Feeding the Fur; From High Ground; Funeral Ballad; Hedgehog; Home Improvements /The Home Improver; In Concert; The Letter or (unable to decipher next  word); Living with the Sea; The Manager, Beset by Process, Speaks; Man Washing; Memorial; The Mineral Boom; Netting; Notes on Arrival; Passage; Report of a Badger; Respecting the Americans; Sea Lives; Splits; Suburban Tortoises/Tortoises; Telephone; To the Sea; Traveller’ Tale; Usurper; Visitants.

6 sheets, untitled, incomplete

Poetry in manila folder, labelled ‘Rejects etc. most early/mid 90s’

From A FOSSIL RECORD: Museum Piece, The Dune, Palaeontology, The Inlet – short collection of poetry, typewritten, unedited

Folder 32

Literary drafts; Radio Play 

            Antarctica: The Imagined Continent – Correspondence concerning 5/1/84 – 6/3/86; typed edited draft manuscript; typed manuscript; copy of ABC script, edited by author; copy of ABC contract 17/1/85

            Broken China poem by Sarah Day, typed, undated, unedited

            Forest poem by Sarah Day, typed, undated, unedited

Miscellaneous papers 

            3 handwritten sheets, undated and unsigned; lists and contains comments on poems written by Andrew Sant

            2 pages, undated and handwritten by Andrew Sant, draft review of a collection of poems by Stephen Edgar titled That Green Evening

            1 page, typed, undated sheet listing contemporary poets and their professions, work roles, inserted in large group of unsorted, draft poetry by Andrew Sant

            Letter to Andrew Sant from his father, 1 page, handwritten 11/11/89

            1 page note from Katrina Graham (Arts for Australian. Australia Council letterhead) 6/10/ [no year]

            2 letters from Iwayan Tiniggal, ‘Puri Saraswati” Bungalows, Bali 1987,1988

Folder 33

Photograph of Andrew Sant, black and white, undated


Box 6

Notebooks containing handwritten poems and typed drafts inserted.

Folder 34

1/ Drafts for Album of Domestic Exiles published1997.

Folder 35

2/ Drafts for Russian Ink published2001.

Folder 36

3/ Drafts for Russian Ink published 2001.

Folder 37

4/ Drafts for The Islanders published2002.

Folder 38

5/ Drafts for The Islanders published 2002

Folder 39

6/ Drafts for Speed &Other Liberties published2008

Folder 40

7/ Drafts for Speed &Other Liberties published 2008; Fuel published 2009

Folder 41

8/ Essays: On Marriage, On only Children, On Waltzing, written 2004

Book: How to Proceed 2015/2016

Speed and Other Liberties 2008

Fuel 2009

Folder 42

9/ Drafts for Fuel published 2009

Folder 43

10/ [envelope] Drafts for Fuel published2009


Box 7

Notebooks containing handwritten poems and typed drafts inserted. Correspondence.

Folder 44

11/ Drafts for The Lives and Times of the Islanders 2009; The Bicycle Thief & Other Poems 2013

Folder 45

12/ Drafts for The Bicycle Thief & Other Poems, 2013

Folder 46

13/ Drafts for The Bicycle Thief & Other Poems, 2013; How to Proceed, 2015/2016;Uncollected Poems 2017.

Folder 47

14/ Edited manuscript of How to Proceed, 2015/2016

Folder 48

15/ Drafts for The Bicycle Thief & Other Poems 2013; How to Proceed 2015/2016;Uncollected Poems 2017.  

Folder 49

Correspondence 1980s-1990s


Folio items

Folder 50 [folio]

Brushing the Dark; page proofs, author’s galleys, master galleys.

Folder 51 [folio]

Toads, edited by Andrew Sant; galley proofs.