This is Mark's blog.

Mark Pirie publishes netball poems

In October, I published a small booklet of netball poems in celebration of the game and some of New Zealand's finest netballers.

This completes my sports poetry quartet of writing on four major sports in New Zealand: rugby, cricket, football and netball.

It was something of a challenge writing on netball, predominantly a women's sport.

I have followed netball and the Silver Ferns since I was a boy. I played in a mixed boys and girls team at intermediate level before secondary school.

I decided to make the booklet of 12 poems available widely as an electronic pdf for free download as well as a printed booklet in a small run collectable format.

The book ends with an addenda by the Napier poet, former scientist and politician Bill Sutton in the form of an open letter to the Wellingtonian newspaper in 2012 (a poem in praise of Silver Fern great Irene van Dyk) replying to my poem on Maria Tutaia.

Here's the link:




Mark Pirie's poem for Silver Fern Maria Tutaia

After watching the Silver Ferns victory over England in Wellington last week, I wrote a poem for Maria Tutaia. There was a magic moment in the test match when Tutaia's shot rebounded twice and she got the goal third time lucky. She was cool and calm throughout, but after acknowledged the crowd with a smile.

I've been an admirer of Tutaia's role as Goal Attack over the past couple of years. Centre Langman and Goal Shoot van Dyk have a great understanding but so too does Tutaia with van Dyk. Tutaia is also good on defence. She showed her skills again in the final test match of the season helping the Ferns defeat the Diamonds with a great third quarter of shooting. I'm so pleased for Wai Taumaunu the coach.

Click on this link to read the poem. It was published by Joseph Romanos in The Wellingtonian, Thursday 1 November 2012.

As a boy I used to watch netball with my Mum who was a former player. My sister also played netball and hockey at school.