Poetry Shelf celebrates new books: Mark Pirie’s ‘Slips: Cricket Poems’

Slips: Cricket Poems, Mark Pirie, HeadworX, 2021

When I was a child, my father held his transistor to his ear to listen to the cricket, and somehow I caught the cricket bug. Decades later I got to see Vivian Richards hit the ball oh so elegantly across the grounds at Lords. I was raised on test matches, and my love for them has never faded, but now I find different delights in the game’s shorter forms. Like Mark Pirie, I stream cricket whenever I get the chance, especially when the Black Caps or the White Ferns are playing. So yes I am currently watching the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. I am going to review Slips once a copy reaches my letter box, but yesterday I listened to the seven cricket poems Mark recorded to celebrate his new book. I got goosebumps. I love the way a poem can embrace a subject but cast light upon multiple things, experiences, memories. I found these poems so very special on so many levels. Take a listen.

Mark Pirie reads 7 poems

The Streaming Room

Park Song


The Pavillion:

Bradman, in Wellington


Martin Crowe

Mark Pirie (b.1974) is an internationally published New Zealand poet, editor, publisher and archivist for PANZA (Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa). In 2016, his selected poems, Rock & Roll, was published by Bareknuckle Books, Australia (available from the publisher). Other books include a biography, Tom Lawn, Mystery Forward (ESAW, 2018), an artbook Folk Punk (2020) and Gallery (poetry) published by Salt, England, 2003. He is a former founder/editor of JAAM, 1995-2005, publisher for HeadworX 1998-, and currently edits broadsheet: new new zealand poetry, 2008-. Website

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