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

Dreams

The Pavillion:

Bradman, in Wellington

Joe

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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