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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