Bareknuckle Books publishes Mark Pirie's Rock and Roll: Selected Poems

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 by Mark Pirie

In September, my new book of selected poems in five sets, Rock and Roll, was published overseas by exciting and innovative Australian publisher Bareknuckle Books in Brisbane.

I was delighted to be included in their new Bareknuckle Poets Pocket Series, as well as in their annual anthologies that have commemorated Allen Ginsberg and Frank O'Hara, two influential poets I admire.

Rock and Roll was launched by Richard Langston (New Zealand poet and journalist) at Unity Books in Wellington, New Zealand, on 27 September 2016. This was a joint launch with MaryJane Thomson's new HeadworX book Songs of the City launched by Fiona Kidman.

At the launch I made the following comments relating to this selection:

"It was hard work putting the book together as I have around 2000 poems to select from. But I had an idea from my earlier days as a music DJ at Radio Active, to make the book like five different rock and roll concert sets, and to choose the themes that have made me more unique as a poet, poems that readers would say are distinctly Mark Pirie poems in his own voice. I chose music, film, love, sport, and Australia as my main themes, bearing in mind the Australian place of publication, too. No doubt readers will make a quite different choice of my poems if offered the chance.

I am very lucky that Bareknuckle put together an impressive cover design to complement so well the concept that I provided for them. The cover is by the artist Anthony Lister who does the artwork for their Bareknuckle Poets Pocket Series.

Finally, I would like to add that this book is in memory of the poet and editor John O’Connor who died suddenly last year, and who will be missed by the New Zealand poetry community."

Here's the link to Rock and Roll on my website: