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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