Issue 13 of broadsheet available now

broadsheet, no. 13, May 2014, a special football issue in honour of the 2014 World Cup, Brazil, is available now.


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broadsheet 13 features football poetry for the 2014 World Cup

The latest issue of broadsheet, no.13, May 2014, features football poetry in honour of this year’s World Cup in Brazil.

The issue selected by broadsheet editor Mark Pirie comprises a selection of football poetry from 1890-2014, focusing mainly on New Zealand football but including English and word football and mostly by New Zealand poets.

Those included are: Simon Boyce, Gary Langford, Harry Ricketts, James Brown, John Gallas, John Dickson, Michael O’Leary, Kendrick Smithyman (d. 1995), Bill O’Reilly (1898-1959), Grant Sullivan, P.S. Cottier (Australia), Ben Egerton, David McGill, Harvey Molloy, Tim Jones, C.W. Grace (1862-1946), Albert Craig (d. 1909, UK), André Surridge, Dylan Groom and editor Pirie himself. Former New Zealand All White Michael Groom has written the foreword.

The New Zealand artist and writer Dr Michael O’Leary has drawn George Best for the cover. London memoirist, poet and renowned translator Anthony Rudolf has contributed an essay on English football autographs of the 1950s.

The issue will be launched in Wellington during the World Cup and is sure to please general football fans as well as those with a more literary and historical football interest.


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The Night Press publishes a collection by MaryJane Thomson

The Night Press (a division of HeadworX Publishers) in Wellington, New Zealand, which publishes high quality limited edition booklets, has released the debut collection of poems by MaryJane Thomson.

Thomson is an artist, writer and photographer living in Wellington, New Zealand. Website: Some of her poems have been published in Black Mail Press. Her first book, a memoir Sarah Vaughan is Not my Mother (Awa Press, 2013), was one of the year’s best books at Radio NZ and was widely reviewed in New Zealand papers/magazines. Kim Hill interviewed Thomson in 2013.

Thomson’s book comprises a sequence of 24 poems selected and arranged by HeadworX editor Mark Pirie. These form a selection of her latest poems.

The poems, thought provoking and powerful, bristle with energy and evocative lines, richly layered. Thomson works by the process of thought construction, often using opposite images juxtaposed to build her poems. She offers an original insight in to society.

Auckland poet Riemke Ensing has written on Thomson’s Fallen Grace:
“And then suddenly, something very different to what you might have expected, is sent in the mail, and you’re caught unaware by what you might call the music of the street – a voice looking for a lost self, trying to make sense of the world – personally and politically. A questioning voice that feels marginalized and frequently alienated from much of the material world as we know it, but not necessarily wanting company either. It’s a voice looking for direction, wanting freedom from restraint, yet resorting (at times) to rhyme – wanting to hold on to the familiar without being enslaved. It’s an agitated voice, restless, anxious about conformity, about being ‘swallowed’ into commonality. Sometimes a sense of panic pervades, fear of being self-centered, ‘looking out from within … / your brain the flame’ but in the end, the influence that operates is grace – ‘the gold in the grey is hopeful’ and ‘the light comes in’.”

Thomson’s book will be released in July this year in a limited print run and will be made available as a viewable pdf and free download from The Night Press website or from Mark Pirie’s website under EBooks:

The Night Press is a division/imprint of HeadworX Publishers and publishes the poetry journal broadsheet and occasional chapbooks/mini books.

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Football poems wanted

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is the big event on the football calendar.

Wellington publisher, editor and poet Mark Pirie ( is putting together a special issue of his poetry journal broadsheet: new new zealand poetry to celebrate football and the World Cup.

Mark has previously edited the cricket poetry anthology A Tingling Catch (HeadworX, 2010) and published a book of his cricket poems Slips (ESAW, 2008) and rugby poems Sidelights (The Night Press, 2013).

For the first time, he is calling for submissions to broadsheet of poems by like-minded New Zealand or overseas poets on the subject of football and its players, international or local to New Zealand.

New Zealand artist and writer Michael O’Leary ( is contributing the cover art and will be drawing George Best.

Poems already included are Harvey Molloy’s ‘The Footballer’ and Mark Pirie’s ‘All White on the Night’ about the New Zealand All Whites’ stunning victory over Bahrain in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Submissions can be emailed to Mark at with the subject line: “broadsheet: football issue”.

Submissions should be as Rich Text Format Word Documents or pasted in to the body of the email text itself with a brief 2-3 sentence bio note.

Poems can be previously published in collections, provided appropriate acknowledgement has been made and permission cleared with publisher/s of the poems.

broadsheet is a fully indexed chapbook size print/online journal, of 40 pages, usually 14-15 contributors an issue, which began in 2008 and has recently reached its 12th issue:

broadsheet is not-for-profit and no payment is made to contributors.

Deadline for submissions will be end of February 2014 for May 2014 release.

Sample poem:


The Footballer

The footballer renounces vodka, Guinness & Belgian lagers
the footballer renounces fountains of champagne
& every last cigarette he smoked as a chaser
the footballer regrets his transplanted liver

from the first floor window
he sees white leaves of snow falling on the park
he remembers the clack of the rackets like guns
the whistles from the terraces like the hunting call
of a constable’s pursuit
how he never had to think but left thinking
to a body that could be trusted on the pitch
how his shins were always cut & bruised after a match

what a terrible thing to be Irish playing for an English team

the footballer remembers
the night clubs that never worked out
the months of missed practices abroad

ah but when you win you’re a winner

snow covers the iron railings around the park

It’s nearly noon thinks the footballer
I really should get dressed

(From Moonshot, Steele Roberts Ltd, 2007)

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The Night Press publishes rugby poems

A small hand-made book of rugby poems, Sidelights, with a letterpress cover has been published by The Night Press, Wellington, New Zealand.

The book by The Night Press editor Mark Pirie features poems on the All Blacks, Super Rugby and the author’s rugby family and is dedicated to the author’s Grandpa Tommy Lawn.

Lawn was a player during the golden period of New Zealand rugby in the 1920s and played with or against many of the greats of the era in Auckland 1926-29 (Toby Sheen, Lance Johnson, Dick Fogarty, Laurie Knight, Fred Lucas, Swin Hadley) and in Canterbury 1919-24 (Jim Parker, Read Masters, Bill Dalley, Charlie Oliver, and the great Marists club side). Lawn represented Canterbury B in 1925. He later coached the forwards of the North Shore Seniors with All Black “Invincible” Bert Cooke in 1938.

The book’s title “Sidelights” comes from a Eden Park rugby column of the same name in the Auckland Weekly News, 1938.

The poems, written between 1993 and 2013, have been widely published in journals, anthologies and newspapers such as Ron Palenski’s Touchlines: An Anthology of Rugby Poetry (NZ Sports Hall of Fame, 2013), Under Flagstaff: Dunedin Poetry (Otago University Press, 2004) and The Dominion Post.

The book is printed in a hand-sewn edition and is made available for wider distribution as a free ebook from the author’s website ( and The Night Press website (see Other Publications).

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Issue 12 of broadsheet available now

broadsheet, no. 12, November 2013, featuring the Star poets of Christchurch 1922-26, is available now.

broadsheet 12

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broadsheet 12 features Star poets of Christchurch 1922-26

The latest issue of broadsheet, no.12, November 2013, has gone historical with a special feature on The Star poets of Christchurch 1922-26, a mostly unknown and previously unacknowledged group of early New Zealand poets.

Mark Pirie discovered the ‘lost’ group in the Christchurch Star by happenchance while researching his grandfather Tom Lawn’s Canterbury rugby career during the 1920s.

Mark decided to collect them in a special issue of broadsheet in order to bring their work to public attention and notice. The group is part of Mark’s ongoing examination of the period 1915-30, a neglected period in New Zealand poetry.

The discovery provides new insight in to the 1920s period and shows vigorous literary activity in the Christchurch Star. The two best known Christchurch papers for literary content are The Press and The Sun. Mark couldn’t find the Star group mentioned in New Zealand poetry anthologies or in studies of the period. A check of the recent Oxford history and companion similarly brought up no index references to the poets.

Of these Star poets, the best known is Una Auld (nee Currie) who also appears in Bill Manhire’s recent 100 New Zealand Poems and 121 New Zealand Poems anthologies.

Also included with it is a supplement containing the full index to the poems/poets found and Mark’s field notes compiled from official sources at the National Library of New Zealand and other open-access public information websites.

The Star poets included are: Una Auld (nee Currie), R D Brown, Aline Dunn, H S Gipps, H H Heatley, Bessie L Heighton, Honor Gordon Holmes, E A Irwin, W J McKellow, Patricia Parker, T E L Roberts, Sherratt, H Tillman and Ida M Withers.

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