Book Cover

Giving Poetry a Bad Name

"A flamboyant figure of his generation, Mark Pirie was born in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1974. In the past six years, he has published nine collections of poems, a collection of song lyrics and a book of short fiction. In 1995 he co-founded the literary journal JAAM (Just Another Art Movement) and in 1998 he edited the iconoclastic anthology, The NeXt Wave. This new book collects for the first time the complete "replugged and uncut" picture of his early experimental output, and includes, amongst other interesting things, 36 pages of memoribilia/photos and some uncollected rarities as well as over a dozen new poems. "The Mark Pirie juggernaut rolls on . . ." - Jack Ross, brief

"Giving Poetry a Bad Name is a literary rarity, a large and considerable book put together and introduced by a poet who has probably published and done more for poets and poetry than almost anyone ever has up to the age of thirty-one. More than that, and as can be seen from this publication...Pirie has the capacity not only to write with wonderful irony, exceptional wit and a droll humour that's all his own, but also to diagnose and analyse literary trends and literature with the skill and expertise of the most serious of sober and dedicated academics. Pirie has done amazing things and he's going to go on and do more amazing things. Giving Poetry a Bad Name is a book that those who like to be acquainted with the shakers and makers of literature should see as essential reading." - Alistair Paterson, Poetry NZ

"This is a handsomely expansive volume. It begins with a sort of 'family album' of photos and reminiscences about Mark Pirie, of about 30 pages. Pirie in drag, crossing the street, with friends and celebrities - even with Sam Hunt! The poems prove Pirie's broad strokes of allegiances and encounters. There are few classical references, more, red-blooded pop connections (even Bob Dylan) on Page 248: 'The Dumber Blues'. There's a Ginsberg impulse in here, almost a James K. Baxter frenzy - lots of influences, alive and dead. Pirie's later poems are an improvement, but that isn't surprising. It is nice to have a collection of earlier works of a poet who continues to pull so many surprises...An essential book for the lover of modern poetry." - Trevor Reeves, Southern Ocean Review

"All told this is a collection that is as cynical as it is honest. Here is a poet in love with the world yet disgusted with its values. It is a huge book but among the juggernaut of words the reader is bound to find a number of poignant gems." Linzy Forbes, New Zealand Poetry Society Newsletter

"...a generous sampling of this Wellington poet's torrential output...The pace of his composition must be Baxteresque, but Pirie avoids lyrical excess at all costs. Urban irony is his stock in trade, across clipped, short verse forms as well as long, Whitmanesque rants. The energy of his rhyming poems suggests an inspired Pakeha rapper." - Mark Houlahan, Dominion Post