I have enjoyed Frank’s poetry ever since I discovered it a couple of years ago.
Small Town Kid is a book of poems about growing up in a small town in Australia during the 1960’s and 1970’s. The town is provincial, the way that small towns invariably are, where everyone knows everyone else, and everyone else’s business.
In those days, a small town was very different to a small town today, now the internet and social media have changed even the slow-paced life of these places forever. And so those of a certain age will recognise many of the situations and much of subject matter of these poems, while to those much younger they may well seem almost alien.
Rich in emotions, as well as in visual detail, we listen to Frank describe experiences such as hunting rabbits, letting off fireworks, and going on picnics, turning his nose up at his mother’s cooking and enjoying his grandmother’s cakes, suffering school and returning home at the end of the day. We find ourselves both observing and participating in the day to day life of his town.
This could be any small town, and any child. If you could extract the peculiarly Australian nuances and replace them with others, the poems might be about a small town anywhere and any child who grew up in it.
The poems are presented in an order showing the boy growing up from his earliest years through to reaching young adulthood, taking the reader on a journey alongside him.
And they have that power, that they transport you there.
Frank writes sparingly, knowing like an artist when to stop. But everything is there, and the writing invariably has beauty no matter what its subject matter.
Unhesitatingly, I give this book five stars.
You can find more of Frank’s poetry on his blogsites: