mark o'connor - australian poet

Literary and Environmental Projects

photo of Mark O'Connor photo of fig tree photo of dog

Along with writing poetry, Mark is actively involved in a range of literary and environmental projects. Mark's next book of poetry called Pilbara Story is awaiting publication from John Leonard Press. It speaks of "several billion years" of history of this remarkable region below the Kimberley in Western Australia. In June Mark gave the concluding keymote speech at the Annual Congress of the Australian Water Association - he emphasised the need to cap both population growth and per capita use of water.

Mark advocates the appointment of an Olympic poet for the 2012 Olympic Games. His own experience as poet at the 2000 Games showed the potential for poetry about the Olympics to capture the public imagination - read more

Radio National recently persuaded Mark to write a poetic anthem for Australia's national soccer team, the Socceroos, which was then set to music - hear more

Mark's poem on his experiences as the resort gardener on Dunk Island in 1976-77 have been turned into a verse play called "Planting the Dunk Botanic Gardens". The play was preimered at an international botanic gardens congress in Wuhan, China, and was also performed by Big Toe Productions at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 6-25 August 2007 - read more

Mark has translated Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida and Twelfth Night into modern English verse, and hopes to extend this work in the future - read more

Mark is the inventor of this innovative graphical software to assist new English speakers - read more

Overloading Australia  -- a sequel to This Tired Brown Land  -- written jointly with award-winning environmental author Bill Lines (author of Patriots, a history of the conservation movement), and will be published by Enviro Books in late 2008. The book shows that there are three inconvenient truths about which Australia is currently in denial: greenhouse, peak oil, and  unsustainable population growth, with the last being a prime cause of the first two; and identifies the denial mechanisms - read more

This Tired Brown Land (1998) is now out of print (and its statistics somewhat out of date) though widely available in libraries.

Mark is part of a group which is arranging for an annual undergraduate A D Hope scholarship at the Australian National University, tenable by an aspiring poet.