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.”

Mark Pirie compiles an anthology of the ESAW Poetry Prize winners

February 2020 sees the release of an anthology I compiled of the winners of the ESAW Poetry Prize, 2007-2019.

It is published in the relaunched ESAW Mini Series (No. 36).

The winners are: Evelyn Conlon 2007, Will Leadbeater 2008, Jill Chan 2009, Robin Fry 2010, Barry Southam 2011, Jeanne Bernhardt 2016, Mary Maringikura Campbell 2017, Bill Dacker 2018 and Jeremy Roberts 2019.

Here is the link to the publisher's blog:

HeadworX releases new books: football poetry and Collected Poems by Michael O'Leary

In May and July, my publishing company HeadworX released two new poetry books: Collected Poems 1981-2016 by Michael O'Leary and Boots: A Selection of Football Poetry 1890-2017.

O'Leary's Collected Poems is a major compilation of his work to date, spanning 35 years of his writing-life, and at 260 pages a considerable editing feat on my part.

Boots is an anthology of football poetry by international contributors, which was first published as a special football issue of my periodical broadsheet. This new edition features new material found in the past four years, including poems by the late Dannie Abse and Alan Ross (renowned UK poets)

It's a real achievement to publish both of these titles.

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

Collected Poems 1981-2016 by Michael O'Leary

Boots: A Selection of Football Poetry by Mark Pirie

HeadworX releases new books by Michael O'Leary and MaryJane Thomson

In October and November, my publishing company HeadworX released two new poetry books by Michael O'Leary, of Paekakariki, and MaryJane Thomson, of Wellington.

O'Leary’s book is a fine collection of his railway poems that I put together in honour of his 65th birthday. O'Leary did not seek this publication, and it is a special book celebrating a significant writer's contribution to New Zealand poetry in English. The cover features an old photograph from the Turnbull Library by W W Stewart.

Thomson’s book, Lonely Earth, is the second collection by her and shows a major development in her poetic since her first collection Fallen Grace. It's a diverse, edgy read and features a mix of styles from minimalist two-line poems to longer poems. Topical and current, it deals with issues like care of the environment and humanity's history, particularly its wars and consumerism.

I’m very pleased to be publishing both of these titles by two gifted New Zealand poets.

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

Main Trunk Lines: Collected Railway Poems by Michael O'Leary

Lonely Earth by MaryJane Thomson