This is Mark's blog.

broadsheet 29 features Kevin Ireland

The latest issue of my journal broadsheet, no.29, May 2022, features the distinguished Auckland poet and writer Kevin Ireland.

The issue prints a selection of his poems, mainly from his latest book, Just Like That (2021).

I have enjoyed Kevin’s poetry for many years and it’s an honour to feature him and some of his long-standing friends in broadsheet.

Others included are: Peter Bland, Petrus Borel (trans.), Bernard Brown. Johanna Emeney, Riemke Ensing, Kevin Ireland, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, Brian Turner, Vincent O’Sullivan, Bill Manhire, Dorit Weisman (trans.), and C K Stead.


Mark Pirie publishes Songs for Her, a book of love poems

In March I published an eBook of love poems written between December 2021 and February 2022. It is available as a free EP like Indie bands do at Bookstore.

HeadworX publishes Michael O’Leary’s The Ballad of the Triple Track

March 2022 sees the release of Michael O’Leary’s new poetry collection The Ballad of the Triple Track with a Foreword by New Zealand Poet Laureate David Eggleton.

“The Ballad of the Triple Track collects together all of Michael O’Leary’s poems written since the publication of his Collected Poems 1981-2016. O’Leary’s poems continue to show linguistic departures. Sonnets, tributes and ballads to friends and family and musical influences are complemented by two longer poems. The first, The Ballad of the Triple Track, was written on the Paekākāriki Escarpment Walk, while the closing longer poem Yradeceba, is a long meditation finding O’Leary at his punning Joycean-best and draws on a wide-reading knowledge forming a 21st century prayer for the times we live in.”

Here is a comment from David’s Foreword: “Without contraries there is no progression, wrote William Blake. Michael O’Leary’s poems are by turns bold, irreverent, winsome. A middle-of-the night housefire, an Australian bushfire, a wedding, a pandemic, the imminent destruction of a vast collection of old library books, birthdays, his father in prison: the whole of life is here. Indeed, the whole shaky motu is here, rattling like a line of train carriages: those old red rattlers pulled by a steam locomotive, the furnace of which is stoked by Michael’s exuberant word-play. Into your hands I commend this book, for the good of you and yours.”

Mark Pirie included in The Verse Novel, Australia & New Zealand

In February I was excited to be included in an Australasian collection of interviews relating to the subject of the verse novel in New Zealand. The book is published by Australian Scholarly Publishing in Melbourne. I was interviewed in 2021 by the Australian academic Linda Weste on my 2009 verse novel TOM.

“In these thirty-five interviews with verse novelists from Australia and Aotearoa–New Zealand, Linda Weste explores the uniqueness of storytelling through poetry and the genre of the verse novel. Her subjects are notable representatives of a region where verse novels for Adults, Children and Young Adults thrive; among them is Steven Herrick, winner of the prestigious Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 2019; and what they have to say enriches our understanding of the verse novel across each of its publishing categories.”

Weblink: The Verse Novel: Australia & New Zealand – Australian Scholarly Publishing

Recommended to order online.