This is Mark's blog.

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.”

HeadworX publishes Margaret Jeune’s Selected Poems

In March 2021, my publishing company HeadworX released the Selected Poems of Margaret Jeune in hardback.

I personally edited/compiled the book, some 270 pages, from Margaret's previously published collections with HeadworX along with 51 uncollected poems from the pages of Tony Chad's poetry magazine Valley Micropress along with a section of new and uncollected poems. The book is the first to present Jeune's work in chronological order from 1968-2020.

I am very pleased to include this title in the HeadworX New Poetry Series.

For more details on the book, please visit the HeadworX website:

Selected Poems by Margaret Jeune

HeadworX publishes new books by Ron Riddell and a Three Poets anthology

In the first half of 2020, my publishing company HeadworX released two new poetry books: The Wanderer by Ron Riddell and a Three Poets anthology, featuring Alex Jeune, Margaret Jeune and Marion Rego.

Ron Riddell’s poem The Wanderer is a book-length poem sequence and this is book one, being its first instalment. I have known Ron Riddell for many years since working with him and his wife Saray Torres de Riddell on the Wellington International Poetry Festival, 2003-2005. Bob Orr writes of it: “What a poem… Reading it I had the sense of being increasingly spellbound, of being transported to a place I’d previously not known about. Its repetitions had a hypnotic effect on me – it was like a music that returns to a coda at intervals along the way… a kind of extended Gregorian chant or a jazz musician’s riff open to endless interpretation.”

Three Poets brings together poets who have known each other over a long period of time in the Horowhenua. Marion Rego is already known as a children’s writer and the author of a memoir, Africa for One. Margaret Jeune has had published several poetry books with HeadworX and The Night Press in 2019. Alex Jeune is an emerging Wellington poet and this is his first publication in book form.

It's great to publish these titles in the HeadworX New Poetry Series.

For more details on each book, please visit the HeadworX website:

The Wanderer by Ron Riddell

Three Poets by Marion Rego, Alex Jeune and Margaret Jeune

Mark Pirie edits the selected poems of Mary Maringikura Campbell

June 2020 sees the delayed release (due to COVID-19 lockdown) of the selected poems of Mary Maringikura Campbell through my publishing company HeadworX: Yellow Moon | E Marama Rengarenga: Selected Poems

I have known of Maringikura’s work for many years and always thought it deserved to be better known and read by a wider audience. I was very pleased to get the opportunity to publish her book. 

I edited and arranged the book in two sections. The first part is poems uncollected and new, 1970s-2019, and the second part is a reprint of her first booklet Maringi (2015), which was edited for Maringikura by Andrew Campbell.

The book contains all the poems that Maringikura has wished to retain in print, and comes with a foreword by renowned writer Apirana Taylor.

She is a daughter of the well known poets Alistair Te Ariki Campbell and Meg Campbell.

Here's the link: